Florian Venturi My victory is a great relief

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

After the first race at Franciacorta where a mechanical problem forced him to retire while he was leading the race, the young French driver dominated Race 2 and won his first win of the season in Nascar Whelen Euro Series. He agreed to tell us about his incredible weekend…

You have lived a real emotional lift throughout the weekend. Can you describe the course of your weekend?

On Friday, we could not drive during the two hours of unofficial free practice because the car had some problems. We managed to solve them for the official free practice but we had to make up for lost time and settle the car for qualifying and the race.
Regarding the Saturday, it was a good day despite everything for the team with a 3rd place for Jacques and a first pole position for me in NWES.

In race 1, I made a very good start and after 3 laps the car was really good. At the end of the 3rd sector I suddenly feel a small explosion with a motor problem which forces me to abandon.

We imagine that the disappointment must be immense at that moment. How did you mentally approach race 2?

I was annihilated. After the bad results of Valencia, it was important for me to get on the podium with a victory. It was a real goal for the team at Franciacorta.

After race 1, we talked together and we all looked at each other. We realized we had to stay strong and motivate ourselves to win Race 2 and we did it.
It was with a lot of rage and confidence that we approached this race.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

When you crossed the finish line on Sunday, what was your reaction after the start of the season when bad luck did not spoil you?

I was very happy to have managed to win this race but I did not immediately realize the gap that I had on my opponents. It was almost a duty to win for the team and for me. So it was mostly a feeling of relief.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

This year you make teams with former Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve. What was your reaction when your team announced it to you? Is it different to work with Jacques compared to another teammate?

First of all it was a great pride. It is a huge opportunity to progress with such talent to which I am associated. He is a beautiful person, very simple and very welcoming. He does not feel in any way above others and he wants to constantly progress too. So it’s a collaboration as with any driver except that my teammate is not “anyone” and so we must be even more professional.

How do you reconcile your student life and that of driver?

Personally, I have reconciled the two for more than 10 years. It is a question of adaptation, it is a very busy and rhythmic life but it is possible. Currently in terminale, I intend to continue my studies in high school, next year, after the bachelor’s degree.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Do you want to add something to conclude the interview?

My career is not the simplest but NASCAR is a real opportunity to go to the United States and make a career.
I wish to thank Jérôme Galpin for his help and my team for all their efforts in each race.

Interview of Florian Venturi on the 20th May 2019 directed by Guillaume Hesnault