Speed Euroseries: the first European Championship for CN2 sports prototypes
The Speed Euroseries started in 2010 as the first European Championship for CN2 class sports prototypes. Following an initial season, the popularity of the series increased exponentially starting from 2011 thanks to a strong and complete calendar featuring races in Italy, France, England and Portugal among which exits to outstanding circuits like Spa-Francorchamps, Silverstone and Imola.
The presence of Internationally recognized constructors of the likes of Wolf Racing Cars, Ligier, Norma, Juno and Team WRF contributed to increase the media interest towards the series that featured 75 drivers from 13 different countries in 2011. The sporting challenge has been exciting since the beginning as regulations and race format elicited interesting battles among some of the best drivers of CN2 sports prototypes like Ivan Bellarosa (ITA), Frédéric Makowiecki (FRA), Alex Caffi (ITA), Philippe Alliot (FRA) and Warren Hughes (UK). The racing weekends included two 90-minutes-long races and the season was decided by exciting battles both on track and in the pits.
The victory of the 2011 campaign went to the British drivers Jody Firth and Warren Hughes, that claimed the title on the WFR03 run by Team WRF by just three points on the Ligier JS49 driven by If Motorsport’s ace Dean Stirling.
The official support of Honda, that became the unique engine supplier, and the partnership with Sunoco Whelen Challenge, that Speed Euroseries joined in 2012, made the Series live its most prestigious season yet in 2012. The starting grid of the six double rounds saw very strong lineups coming from France, Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Germany, including former F1 driver Enrique Bernoldi (BRA), who claimed two pole positions and the fastest lap of the race in Bracelona’s race one.
The season has been exciting and the title went to Italy this time around, as Ivan Bellarosa claimed a strong win on the Wolf GB08 leading Anthony Gandon (FRA) on the Norma M20 CF run by Team TFT and Guglielmo Belotti (ITA), also on Wolf GB08.
Speed Euroseries changed sensibly its regulations in 2013, but spectacle and action on track still remained top class. Some new circuits like Budapest (HU), the fast and tricky British circuit of Brands Hatch were added to the calendar. Nicolas Leutwiler (CH) and Julien Schell (FRA) claimed the title on the Ligier JS53 run by Pegasus Racing and led the Belgian Jean-Lou Rihon, on the sister car run by the same team, and the British drivers Alan Bonner and Mike Newton on Tiga CN run by Team Tiga. Despite the wide appreciation of fans, teams and drivers, the series had a stop due to some changes in the direction board at the end of the season.
Speed Euroseries, that has always produced high-level sporting challenges, eventually announced the much awaited comeback for season 2019, thanks to the organization efforts put in by Ultimate Cup Series and V-Motor Company, that decided to bring back the only European Championship reserved to CN2 cars. The new formula has been shared with the main involved constructors and will be part of the Sunoco 240 Challenge.