DF1 Racing announced today the passing of Norbert Walchhofer. The team’s Head of Motorsport died at the age of 69 and left a huge hole in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series family. Walchhofer left his wife Gudrun Strouhal, with whom he joined EuroNASCAR in 2014 with their DF1 Racing team, becoming a constant presence in the NWES paddock for the last 8 years.
“This is a really sad day as we lost a great friend. Norbert was such a passionate competitor and, alongside his wife Gudrun, they have always been great supporters to the development of EuroNASCAR since their DF1 Team joined the series 8 years ago!” said NWES President – CEO Jerome Galpin. “I know very few people putting that much energy, enthusiasm and dedication into racing! Our thoughts and prayers go to Gudrun, Norbert’s family and also to the whole family of DF1 Tigers he and Gudrun built. Norbert’s spirit and memory will stay with us forever. Godspeed my friend.”
A fierce competitor and an enthusiastic, jovial pillar of the NWES paddock, Walchhofer was a race car driver himself and knew exactly how to build the foundations for a successful racing team, involving drivers and supporters from all over the world. Driven by his kind, professional and ambitious attitude, DF1 Racing became one of the most loyal, popular and successful teams in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
In 2014 Mathias Lauda, son of Formula One legend Niki Lauda, drove a DF1 Racing car to the first ever win in an oval race under the rain at Tours Speedway in France and in 2016 the team paired the Austrian driver with Freddie Hunt, pairing the Lauda and Hunt surnames in the same organization for the first time in racing history.
Top drivers of the caliber of Christophe Bouchut, Marc Goossens, Patrick Lemarie and Nicolò Rocca,who is signed with DF1 Racing for 2022, all drove for Walchhofer. DF1 Racing also offered plenty of opportunities to up and coming talents, supporting drivers the likes of Guillaume Deflandre, Francesca Linossi, Maciej Dreszer, Andre Castro, Advait Deodhar, Alain Mosqueron, Simon Pilate, Justin Kunz and their most recent signee Naveh Talor.
With Lasse Sorensen at the wheel of one of his cars, Walchhofer won the EuroNASCAR 2 Championship and the Rookie Trophy in 2019 and finished second in EuroNASCAR PRO in 2020.
The passing of Walchhofer left a huge hole in the EuroNASCAR paddock and the Austrian will be dearly missed by his friends, his competitors and the whole NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Godspeed, Norbert!