NASCAR Legend Bobby Labonte to race for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series title!
First American NASCAR Champion to Compete Full-time in the International Series
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 9, 2018) – After discovering the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series at Brands Hatch, Uk in 2017, NASCAR Legend Bobby Labonte will compete full-time in the Europan NASCAR Series in 2018 in hopes of adding an international title to his Hall of Fame-worthy career. A winner of 21 NASCAR Cup races in the US, Labonte will drive the #18 RDV Competition Toyota with the support of YACCO.
“Joining the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is a great opportunity,” said Bobby Labonte. “At the Brands Hatch race last year, I was definitely impressed by the competitiveness of the series. The testing we did with Frederic Gabillon last fall and putting this together with Franck Violas and the RDV team gives me a great advantage. Having the opportunity to represent YACCO as a sponsor on a global level just adds to the excitement, and I look forward to all the growth and new opportunities this could bring.”
The NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee made history when he became the first American NASCAR champion to compete in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, in 2017. He completed a spectacular comeback at Brands Hatch (United Kingdom) to notch a 10th-place finish in his series debut.
Labonte’s racing experience and success will continue to boost the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, which has grown into one of the most exciting racing series in Europe.
“It is a huge milestone for the Whelen Euro Series to welcome an American champion of Bobby’s caliber to contend for the title. This is another sign of the international appeal the series has delivered. We are proud to have a strong international lineup of 30 drivers and teams,” declared NASCAR Whelen Euro Series President / CEO Jerome Galpin.
“Bobby Labonte is one of the greatest champions in NASCAR history, and his participation in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is a huge win for fans and competitors alike,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief International Officer. “Labonte’s full-time involvement gives American fans an even stronger connection to the series, while offering our European fans a close look at one of NASCAR’s greats.”
Labonte’s season entry in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series was made possible by to the support of leading oil manufacturer YACCO. The French brand’s high performances products will power the #18 RDV Competition YACCO Toyota for the entire season.
“YACCO is excited to enter NASCAR racing with such a great champion,” said YACCO President Eric Candelier. “This is a fantastic opportunity to test our products, especially the YACCO GALAXIE 15W50, in a new discipline after our success in Rally, Hill-climb and Rallycross. The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series attracts world class competitors, and we are proud to be associated with the series.”
Labonte joins forces with two-time championship runner-up Frederic Gabillon and rising star Ulysse Delsaux for the French title-contending RDV Competition team.
A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Labonte is one of the most decorated drivers in NASCAR history. He is one of just four drivers to win championships in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (2000) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (1991). He won 21 races at NASCAR’s highest level, including three crown jewel races – the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He is one of 29 drivers to win a race in all three NASCAR national series.
The most anticipated season in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series history kicks off April 14-15 in Valencia, Spain with four nail-biting sprint races on the 4-kilometer Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
ABOUT NASCAR WHELEN EURO SERIES
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series was founded in 2008 by Team FJ a Motorsports company located in Blois, France. It was established the NASCAR official European Series in January 2012 thanks to a long-term partnership signed between NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), Team FJ, and Whelen Engineering as title sponsor of the Series. The season is made up of 6 great American style events featuring 24 races, equally split among ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 divisions, on the best European tracks : 5 road-course circuits – Valencia (Spain) Franciacorta (Italy), Brands Hatch (UK), Hockenheim (Germany), Zolder (Belgium) – and 1 oval speedway built in downtown Tours (France). With four races per event, these 400 HP V8 monsters provide pure racing action and thrilling bumper-to-bumper battles as well as a lot of family fun around the track! In the purest NASCAR tradition, race fans can get closer to the action than ever and enjoy a unique paddock atmosphere thanks to drivers, teams and cars always available for the spectators.The series attracts drivers from all over the world, all willing to fight on track for the win and take the first step towards becoming a NASCAR star in the U.S.
ABOUT BOBBY LABONTE
Bobby Labonte, twice voted by NASCAR fans as their Favorite Driver, has built a personal brand based on his ability to connect with fans while representing some of the largest consumer and commercial brands and products in the world. His experience extends beyond the American NASCAR circuit, as he has made multiple appearances at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (UK), known as the world’s largest automotive garden party, and has also appeared at Autosport International (UK), Europe’s largest indoor pre-season motorsport event. Labonte has represented brands such as Coca Cola, Interstate Batteries, General Mills, Toyota, Clorox, Dow Chemical, Con Agra Foods, Universal Pictures and GlaxoSmithKline among many others. Labonte has vast on-camera and television experiences including acting as a spokesperson and appearing in television commercials. Since 2014, he has been a television racing analyst and is currently on the Fox network FS1, regularly appearing on the FS1 programs Race Hub and Race Day. Labonte also has a foundation in his name, the Bobby Labonte Foundation, that provides funds through grants to organizations that help build stronger foundations for children and their families.