In the new season of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Jonne Rautjärvi and Janne Koikkalainen will be racing on the #44, which will be run by Team Bleekemolen. Although the owner of the #44, Ian Eric Wadén, will not be racing with his own car, he will still be racing in 2022.
The young Finn Jonne Rautjärvi will give his debut in the EuroNASCAR Pro. The last two seasons he was racing in the Finnish V8 Thunder series. In his first season he finished on P3 in the overall standings. His association, the Laukaan Moottorimiehet, elected him as car race driver of the year 2020. With this award he follows in the footsteps of, among others, Finnish rally driver Juha Kankkunen. In 2021 Rautjärvi was able to meet the expectations of his first season and finished runner-up in the V8 Thunder. “Moving up to the EuroNASCAR felt like a logical step for my international career”, Rautjärvi said in an interview with Threewide. “My goal is to fight for the title both in the Junior and the Challenger Trophy and gain as much experience as possible.”
Janne Koikkalainen had his first race in the EuroNASCAR 2019 at the Hockenheimring with Memphis Racing. In his first full-time season he will be fighting for the title in the Legends and the Rookie Trophy in the EuroNASCAR 2. Just like his team mate Rautjärvi, Koikkalainen has previously been racing in the V8 Thunder series. From 2014 to 2018 he has been an integral part of the Finnish and the Northern European Championship.
Ian Eric Wadén will not be driving his own car in 2022, but he will be racing in the EuroNASCAR. “With Janne and Jonne we have two drivers with a height of 1.95m. We tried to find a solution which makes it easy for them to change the care with the second driver and still feel comfortable. So we decided that the best thing will be to let these tall guys race with the same car”, Ian Eric Wadén said. He himself will be share the car #72 with Michael Bleekemolen. Both gave their debut in the EuroNASCAR in 2019 and fought a close and very fair battle for the title in the Legends Trophy of the EuroNASCAR 2. After being equal in points, Wadén won the title as he managed to score more wins than Bleekemolen.