ALL NEWs FROM 2020!
DF1 RACING ANNOUNCES JUSTIN KUNZ AS EURONASCAR PRO DRIVER FOR 2020!
The German fought hot battles with the European NASCAR elite
(Credits: stardesigner.com / Tom Rengelshausen)
(Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard)
Justin Kunz competed in the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for the first time as a full-time driver in the EuroNASCAR PRO Championship for professional racers. He shared the track with motorsport greats such as Jacques Villeneuve, Alon Day and Loris Hezemans. After ten races, the racer from Appenweier finished third in the Junior Trophy for drivers up to 25 years of age and in the top 10 overall.
The German finished four out of ten races within the top 10, meaning Kunz was busy collecting points for DF1 Racing in the number 99 Chevrolet Camaro. In Grobnik, Croatia, the 23-year-old made his breakthrough with sixth and eighth places. At Super Speedweek in Valencia, Spain, he added two more top-10 finishes.
In the Junior Trophy, Kunz landed on the podium a total of three times in 2020. With a total of 20 EuroNASCAR PRO races, 47 EuroNASCAR 2 races and one start in the American NASCAR Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series, the German is one of the most experienced drivers in the European NASCAR world - even though he is only 23 years old.
"My season has been very successful and I'm absolutely happy with the results," Kunz says. "I finished third in the Junior Trophy and finished in the top 10 of the EuroNASCAR PRO Championship. It was my first full year in the top NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship and the level is obviously much higher than in the EuroNASCAR 2 Series. You just have to look at the names that are racing in the PRO championship. That's why I'm very happy with the top-10 result. I thank my team DF1 Racing for the great work and my partners as well as fans for the support."
The end of the season marks the start of planning for 2021, with the coronavirus pandemic making it difficult for racers like Kunz to present new plans early on. The racer from Appenweier hopes to take the next important step in his motorsport career.
JUSTIN KUNZ FROM APPENWEIER STORMS ONTO THE EURONASCAR PODIUM IN GROBNIK, CROATIA
Justin Kunz from Appenweier, Germany, had every reason to celebrate on November 15: The 23-year-old secured his first podium in the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES). In the second race, Kunz finished sixth at the wheel of his 400-horsepower DF1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship for professional racers from around the world, in which ex-Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, among others, competes. In the fiercely contested special classification for racing drivers under 25, this was enough for third place and the first trophy in 2020.
The race was held for the first time at the Grobnik Automotodrom on the Croatian Riviera. The circuit stepped in at the last second for the event in the Czech Republic, which could not take place at the Autodrom Most as planned due to the coronavirus pandemic. Kunz immediately got to grips with the fast 4.168-kilometer track, which is why he was one of the fastest drivers in the field.
Kunz started the second race of the weekend from tenth on the grid and made up a few positions right from the start. He drove lap after lap in Grobnik without making any mistakes. When the black-white-checkered flag was waved after 17 laps, the joy was great, because Kunz knew immediately that he would be allowed to climb onto the podium after the race to receive the trophy for third place in the Junior Trophy. After the race weekend in Croatia, the German is in twelfth place in the overall standings and occupies a strong fourth place in the Junior Trophy.
"It was a weekend where everything worked and all the gears meshed perfectly," said Kunz. "I really had a lot of fun in Grobnik. We also got solid results, but of course I always want more.
The German finished third in the Junior Trophy in the second NWES race
(Credits: stardesigner.com / Tom Rengelshausen)
"I think that was a step forward - also for me personally. Of course we want to build on that and I'm really looking forward to Valencia. The track in Croatia is really beautiful and a lot of fun. I'm delighted that we'll also be racing there in 2021. I thank the whole team, who really did a great job."
The first podium of the 2020 NWES season earned the Baden native important points for the championship. The finale will take place from December 3 to 6 in Valencia, Spain. Kunz has already contested ten races on the four-kilometer circuit. His best result to date is a strong sixth place in the 2017 EuroNASCAR 2 Championship for young talent. Kunz still has the goal of making it into the top three of the Junior Trophy in the final four races.
JUSTIN KUNZ IS LOOKING FORWARD TO THE START OF THE EURONASCAR SEASON IN SEPTEMBER 2020
Justin Kunz at home in the simulator
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) teams, drivers and fans have had to wait a long time for the 2020 season to kick off, but the green flag finally drops again on September 12 and 13. EuroNASCAR will visit the Autodromo di Vallelunga north of Rome that weekend to kick off the new championship. Justin Kunz, who will drive for DF1 Racing in the EuroNASCAR PRO Championship for the 2020 season, is eagerly awaiting the V8 engines to roar again.
"Of course, I'm very excited that things will start up again in September and that we'll be able to run the season, albeit with some changes," said Kunz, who will compete with the elite in the official European NASCAR series.
"I hope, of course, that the weather will cooperate at the end of the year, because of course we don't have winter tires. In addition, we have a new track in Vallelunga, which I'm also really looking forward to," said the German about the planned start to the season. "However, the new calendar has one drawback: unfortunately, the finale will not take place at Hockenheim as planned. Instead, we will finish the season in Valencia in December. That's due to the climate in Spain, of course, but even so the anticipation is growing day by day. Of course, I was really looking forward to a finale at my home track and the planning was also fully geared to that."
In the 2020 season, Kunz will share the car with his compatriot Marcel Lenerz, who is moving from GT racing to the EuroNASCAR 2 championship. This means DF1 Racing will once again field an all-German car in 2020. Kunz, who celebrated his debut in the U.S. NASCAR Gander & RV Outdoors Truck Series in 2018, has already contested eleven races in EuroNASCAR-PRO and scored his best result to date in 2017 at Franciacorta with a twelfth-place finish. In the new season, of course, the first top-10 result in the premier class of European NASCAR sport is to follow.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the calendar for the 2020 NWES season had to be massively adjusted. Currently, five dates are confirmed: Vallelunga in Italy (September 12 and 13), Zolder in Belgium (October 3 and 4), Hockenheim in Germany (October 17 and 18), Most in the Czech Republic (November 15 and 16) and Valencia in Spain (December 5 and 6). A new date is currently still being sought for the race at Brands Hatch in the UK. The race at Raceway Venray will most likely be cancelled in 2020.
Kunz is currently keeping fit in the virtual world. The racing driver from Appenweier competes for DF1 Racing in the first EuroNASCAR Esports Series on iRacing and hunts for points in the virtual world every two weeks. A very special aspect: The sim racing championship has a small influence on the real ranking, for which points are awarded. Otherwise, Kunz trains diligently at home to prepare physically for the start of the season in the EuroNASCAR racer.