Team Bleekemolen has confirmed the driver line-up for the first of three cars in the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. The Dutch team will give the #69 Ford Mustang to Sebastiaan Bleekemolen in EuroNASCAR PRO and Melvin de Groot in EuroNASCAR 2. Bleekemolen, who scored his maiden NWES win at Autodrom Most in 2022 and finished sixth overall, is looking to add more victories to his resume, while de Groot will defend the Legend Trophy for drivers aged 40 and more in EuroNASCAR 2. The dynamic duo will look to continue the upward trend from 2022 and build on the momentum they have gained.
Bleekemolen was born in Haarlem but now lives in Aerdenhout, close to the Zandvoort circuit. The 44-year-old joined EuroNASCAR with his team in 2019 and made progress year after year. The hard work of the Dutch team culminated in winning the EuroNASCAR PRO race in the Czech Republic in 2022, a season where Bleekemolen became a real title contender in the elite championship of NASCAR in Europe. The Dutchman wants to build on this foundation and take another step towards the top-5 in EuroNASCAR PRO.
“Last year we won and improved from race to race,” said Bleekemolen. “The cooperation between our engineer Wolfram Lethert, my teammate Melvin de Groot and myself proved to be a strong combination. Our goal is to score more podium finishes in the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season and we think it’s possible for us to fight for the top spots. I’m really looking forward to the start of the season at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. I really like the starts and the door-to-door battles from the very first second in EuroNASCAR.”
The owner of Bleekemolen’s Race Planet is involved in motorsports 24/7. The family is managing two indoor entertainment centers with around 150 “dream cars” and also offers racing experiences at the track in Zandvoort. Bleekemolen is also a passionate athlete. The Dutchman is doing triathlons and is preparing to take part in an Iron Man in June 2023. With more than 25 years of experience in racing, Bleekemolen is set to utilize his knowledge and strength of bringing the car back home without a single scratch while battling for top positions. “I was born a racing driver,” said the fan of Formula One World Champion Max Verstappen.
Melvin de Groot also lives in Aerdenhout but was born in Alkmaar. The Dutchman joined EuroNASCAR in 2021 as a replacement for Sebastiaan’s father Michael Bleekemolen. The 45-year-old immediately fell in love with the pure V8 power and made his full-time debut in 2022. He topped the EuroNASCAR 2 Legend Trophy and finished sixth overall despite missing two races at the Autodrom Most. The Dutchman will defend his Legend Trophy title in the 2023 NWES season.
“My goal is definitely to win the Legend Trophy again and get some overall podiums in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship,” said the driver with more than 29 years of experience in various forms of motorsport. “It’s the sound, the old school cars, the close racing and the speed that gets my heart racing when I’m on the track with the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.” In addition to his racing career, de Groot runs his international paper recycling company and produces about 500,000 bottles of rosé wine with his family.
Staying physically fit by playing golf and tennis, de Groot describes himself as a “passionate” racer who “always pushes the car to the limit” and “always finishes the races” without crashing. Consistency is key in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and the Dutchman, who fell in love with racing as a child, has a good chance of making it to the top. The father of two sons is already passing on his knowledge to them, as both children have started karting.
The 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will return to action May 6-7 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. All qualifying and race sessions will be streamed live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and multiple television services around the world. The #69 Ford Mustang is sure to be among the front runners in both championships and Team Bleekemolen will do everything in their power to go for gold.