Thomas Ferrando still celebrating first Whelen Euro championship
Whelen Euro Series ELITE 2 champion Thomas Ferrando spent some time with Motorsport.com talking about winning the 2017 title.
You finally scored your first NASCAR championship. How does it feel?
That is an incredible feeling! I am so happy to finally win my first Elite 2 NWES championship! I don't know if I've completely realized yet, but I'm very satisfied with this season.
You had a breakout season this year with seven wins, what do you think made the difference for you this season to break through and win the title?
I think that the difference comes from good workouts that helped me get into good shape for the 2017 season. But it also comes from a perfect team effort! Everyone on the team did an excellent job working on the car all season long.
Is there one particular thing you or your team did differently this season that you felt made a difference in your performance this season?
Yes, we tried to be more professional during this season. The team worked hard and precisely on the car to be efficient. We have also worked on our communication inside the team, and my spotter who gave me more information than ever and helped me to be focused on the objectives.
Is there one race or one event that you feel stands out and made a difference on your season with the team?
Brands Hatch was the event where I think the team really grew up! We've been able finish in the top three during the Elite 1 race 2 of the weekend. The performance of the car and the alchemy of the team was established all season.
How special is it for you to be able to call yourself a NASCAR champion in your home country of France?
This is clearly something special! Being a NASCAR champion means a lot to me but we have to stay focused on our objectives. We need to keep working hard for next year (I may compete in Elite 1). Being an Elite 2 champion is an outstanding feeling, but drivers like Alon Day, Anthony Kumpen, Frederic Gabillon, Stienes Longin or Marc Goossens show that the talent level in Elite 1 is huge! I have to be prepared for that and work harder and harder to be faster than them.
Do you feel having this championship can help your resume as your continue to pursue a full-time ride in the United States?
Yes for sure! Being champion this year gives me the opportunity to do a race in the United States next season. The absolute goal is to be a fulltime NASCAR driver. So yes, any title you can win competing in a NASCAR series is good to experience.
Do you feel your championship can help continue to help grow the name of NASCAR in Europe?
Yes of course! The European championship grows each year. Every team and every driver takes their experience in this championship to help grow and improve their abilities improve sharply each year.
Who would you like to thank for helping you win your title?
I would like to thank everyone in my team! Denis Kleiber for giving me the opportunity to live my dream. Olivier Bacle, my spotter and team manager, who worked hard for me and my teammates. My mechanic and engineers Jeremy, Vincent and Jean-Jacques who do an incredible job on the car. I would like to thank also my mom, dad, brother and friends who were with me at every race. And also a big thanks to Patrice Giammattei, my trainer who taught me how to be physically prepared before every race. And last but not least, all the NASCAR family: fans, organizers, marshalls... They gave us the ability to continue this amazing sport !
Do you have any dreams or goals of racing NASCAR in the United States?
Racing NASCAR in the United States is a goal of mine. I would like to be part of this huge series because for me it represents what a driver can be in the sport. And also for me it represents what a racing family is. The relationship between drivers and fans, the NASCAR family are some of the reasons why I want to be a NASCAR driver.
What makes competing the NWES special to you ?
It is special for me because when I went to Bowman Gray Stadium to do my first ever race in NASCAR on a Modified, the atmosphere on track was unbelievable, I had never seen this before. The NWES is really close to this atmosphere. We are a huge family and I am proud to be part of it!
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