SOUTHAM’S Alex Sedgwick kicked off his 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) season last weekend in Valencia, Spain.
As most people were packing their bags for an Easter break in the Spanish sun, the 19-year-old was instead packing his racing kit and heading for the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
Sedgwick, who is the only British driver in this year’s NWES series, will contest the championship with the Italian MRT team based in Milan.
He will be driving one of their 400bhp American stock cars (No.58) similar to the ones raced in America on the famous NASCAR oval tracks.
The series, which is fully supported by NASCAR in the US, is also sponsored by WHELEN and is contested by professional drivers from around the world.
This year 2000 NASCAR Cup champion Bobby Labonte will also be one of the drivers Sedgwick will be racing against in the 12 rounds series as it travels around Europe.
“Having this opportunity to race in NASCAR is a dream come true and racing with legends like Bobby Labonte is unbelievable,” said Sedgwick.
“I met Bobby at a NWES test in France in November last year and he helped me a great deal to understand the car.
“Now racing alongside him will be a privilege.”
Sedgwick did not take long before he was battling with Labonte.
In qualifying for the Elite One Group he out qualified Labonte and started Saturday’s race in front of the NASCAR champion.
During the race the two drivers raced hard and they both had the Spanish crowd on their feet as they swapped positions, and for a lap battled door to door around the twisty circuit.
At the flag it was Labonte who finished ahead of Sedgwick by just over a second.
However, it was 15th-placed Sedgwick who set the fastest lap of the two drivers by two tenths of a second.
For Sunday’s race Sedgwick got off to a good start and got as high as tenth before two safety cars bunched the pack up.
Unfortunately just before the restart Sedgwick lost second gear intermittently and with reduced drive out of corners, he fell down the grid and finished in 15th place.