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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

NASCAR can capitalise on Le Mans buzz with European race

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NASCAR introduced a modified Subsequent Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, run by powerhouse group Hendrick Motorsports, to showcase a high-powered inventory automobile to a European viewers at the world famous 24-hour race earlier this month.

The prime mover behind the programme was NASCAR president Jim France, who wished to honour his father Invoice Sr – the person who first introduced NASCAR equipment to Le Mans in 1976.

Button believes that the enthusiastic response of the massive crowd at Le Mans proves that NASCAR might construct a following in Europe if it introduced its American stars throughout the Atlantic of their Cup vehicles.

“I believe there must be a solution to get the European followers to know the personalities inside the sport, as a lot as having fun with the racing,” mentioned Button. “I believe it could possibly be large, and doing a race in Europe subsequent yr could be nice.

“You’ve got to leap on what we did at Le Mans, and I believe it had such an enormous following – I noticed so many memes and it went loopy on social media. It could possibly be simply forgotten, so I believe it must be jumped on as quickly as potential.

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“A race in Europe could be nice.”

Kimi Raikkonen, Trackhouse Racing, Onx Houses / iLOQ Chevrolet Camaro

Photograph by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

NASCAR sanctions inventory automobile racing sequence in Europe, Canada, Mexico and Brazil with lesser-specification equipment. NASCAR’s second-tier Xfinity Sequence has raced at F1 tracks in Mexico Metropolis (2005-08) and Montreal (from 2007-12), and its Cup championship ran two exhibition races at Suzuka within the mid-Nineties.

Button questioned if NASCAR might work with a World Endurance Championship occasion in Europe, to make sure a racing viewers which may recognize its American-style racing.

“I type of really feel it’s not what NASCAR would need to do, however it might be good to leap on a weekend the place there’s one other race,” he mentioned. “So, whether or not it’s an F1 weekend, which is unlikely, or a WEC weekend – an endurance weekend.

“As a result of you might have the massive fanbase there already, and it might be a very good place to begin for future races in Europe.”

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He additionally felt {that a} behind-the-scenes, Drive to Survive-style TV present would assist a European viewers get to know the drivers and groups in NASCAR, to assist them recognize what it’s about: “Racing is one factor, and I believe understanding the personalities which can be within the sport is one thing that I believe European followers would need to know.

“Simply seeing 39 vehicles go round is nice, however if you happen to don’t know who’s behind the wheel, you haven’t any one to essentially help – except you identical to the color of the automobile, like my son does.”

He additionally steered that extra crossovers of worldwide drivers making an attempt NASCAR – like fellow F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen and Australian Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen with Trackhouse’s Mission 91 entry – could be useful in rising its viewers outdoors of North America.

“I’d actually prefer to see extra drivers from the endurance world or F1 are available and have a style of NASCAR, seeing how aggressive it’s,” Button added. “I by no means thought it’d be as aggressive as it’s.

“I knew ovals could be one thing totally different all collectively, however I didn’t suppose the drivers could be so good on avenue programs and highway programs. [I’ve been] pleasantly shocked.”

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