CASTREZZATO, Italy — A world-class motorsport icon will enter the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series field during the Sept. 16-17 semi-finals at the Autodromo di Franciacorta.
Former Formula 1, DTM and WTCC factory driver Nicola Larini will make his NASCAR debut in the NASCAR GP of Italy, driving the No. 1 Ford Mustang for Alex Caffi Motorsport in the ELITE 1 Division.
“When Alex Caffi told me about this opportunity I was really happy to take it. The series is fascinating with its cars all about pure racing and letting the drivers make the difference. It will be interesting,” said Larini. “I’m sure it will not be easy, because joining a new top level category always means you have to confront with strong drivers with a lot of experience, so I hope to have enough time to adapt and find a strong pace.”
“I want to thank the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and Alex Caffi Motorsport for this fantastic opportunity and I hope to both have fun and entertain the many Italian fans. I’m a competitor, so I don’t just want to show up … I always want to compete and get the best result I can.”
“It’s a great honor to welcome Nicola to racing in Euro NASCAR, especially for the Italian GP. I am really happy and proud the NWES is becoming the place to race for every driver coming from all over the world and every kind of racing discipline!” added NASCAR Whelen Euro Series president & CEO Jerome Galpin. “Our pure racing cars, with great power and no electronics, are probably the ultimate challenge in Europe! With 28 cars, over 60 top level drivers from 20 nationalities and tens of thousands of fans, NWES is probably today the best and most exciting touring series in Europe.”
In his long and eclectic career, the Italian not only drove four full seasons in Formula 1 and worked many years as a Ferrari F1 test driver, piloting the Rossa in four Grands Prix, but also successfully competed in a wide variety of disciplines, often sharing the track with Caffi.
Larini won the Italian Formula 3 Championship in 1986, the Italian Super Touring Car Championship in 1992, made history in 1993 by conquering the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft with Alfa Romeo and competed as a factory driver for Chevrolet in WTCC.
Most recently, the Camaiore native appeared in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe competition last year.
“Nicola is a dear friend and we crossed paths many, many times along the way. He’s among the most accomplished drivers in Europe and having him is a great opportunity for everybody,” said Caffi. “We want to provide him the best opportunity to shine and I’m sure he will have a big smile on his face at the end of the weekend.”
Larini will share the No. 1 Ford Mustang with Lady Cup leader Carmen Boix Gil.
CREDIT: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series