Interview with Ben Creanor, the youngest NWES driver

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

At only 16 years old, the youngest driver of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series finished in 11th place in race 1 and 23rd place in race 2 due to mechanical problems. A remarkable performance given his low experience in motorsport…

What is your first memory of motorsport ?

My first memory of motorsport is the movie Cars and Lighting McQueen. My first memory of actually racing was being 9 years old and racing karts at knockhill Racing circuit. It was the first time I’d ever driven anything and it gave me a clear vision of racing bigger faster machines in the future.

Why did you choose NASCAR Whelen Euro Series ?

I’ve always loved NASCAR and never realised that there was an ever growing European series. I discovered and applied for the driver recruitment program in September last year when it was first advertised as I was looking for viable options for racing in 2019. As good as it looked I never thought I would go all the way and make it to the grid in Spain 6 months later.

What were your first feelings in the car ?

How easy it was to first get in and go. However this has now changed with the new tires for this season. This makes the car much harder to drive than the old tires however it does make the driver think more about technique adding an element of excitement to the spectators. The cars in general aren’t hard to driver however it’s quite the challenge adapting to them and getting the most out of them.

They’re very responsive vehicles and surprisingly agile despite what you might think comparing them to their American counterparts.

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Can you tell us about your first weekend of racing in the championship in Valencia ?

It was very surreal but I soon felt a sense of belonging. NASCAR did a great job of looking after the drivers and the fans who go to show their support. Adjusting to the new cars and track was a challenge and I got off to a slow start being at the bottom end of the field in Friday practice. However I soon found my feet and before my brake failure on Sunday I was challenging for a position on the rookie podium inside the top 10. It was a lot of fun and a lot less stressful than I anticipated. I took so much experience and learned so much from what happened, I just can’t wait to get back in the car in Italy.

Credits: dutchnascarfans.nl

What are your goals for this season and the years to come ?

Just to learn as much as I can and keep pushing forward. With the hope of progressing into Elite 1 and being recognised as a title contender.

What place do racing simulations occupy in your driver life ?

They’re very important and I wouldn’t bee where I am now without using simulator training. I taught myself almost everything I know now on a simulator which has recently been upgraded by the brilliant Luxsim24.

Do you want to add something to conclude the interview ?

Nothing other than mentioning without the sponsors already behind me, Mishumotors, my family and NASCAR, I wouldn’t have a chance of being where I am now in this fortunate position.

Interview of Ben Creanor on April 19, 2019 by Guillaume Hesnault