Another driver has made the decision to take on the NASCAR Cup Series. Loris Hezemans, the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion, will take on a select number of races during the 2022 season while driving for a new team.
Named Team Hezeberg, the new organization is a partnership between Toine Hezemans and Dutch entrepreneur Ernst Berg. They will also work with Reaume Brothers Racing, who will build the stock cars for the 2022 season, and will field the No. 27 Ford Mustang. Hezemans will run all of the road course races during the 2022 season with the goal of earning approval to run ovals by 2023.
Hezemans will make his unofficial debut on October 11-12 during the Next Gen test at the Charlotte Roval. He will work alongside former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve as they put the No. 27 through the paces with several of the top Cup Series drivers.
Team Hezeberg issued a press release on Saturday, October 9, announcing the partnership and listing Hezemans and Villeneuve as the main drivers. However, the team only listed an intended schedule for one driver. They did not detail if Villeneuve will make any starts during the 2022 season, but Hezemans noted that they wouldn’t “rule out” having the former F1 champ racing at some point in 2022, per Bob Pockrass.
TobyChristie.com also noted that this announcement answers a lingering question. The outlet reported on August 12 that a Truck Series team would make the move to the Cup Series with Toyota Racing Development support. Toby Christie, founder of the site, has revealed that Reaume Brothers Racing was the mystery team. Though they have since begun working with Ford.
Hezemans Has Multiple NASCAR Xfinity Starts on His Resume
The new driver of the No. 27 Ford is no stranger to NASCAR circuits. He has made multiple starts in the Xfinity Series while working toward obtaining a license to run on the oval tracks.
Hezemans made his NXS debut during the 2019 season. He joined BJ McLeod Motorsports for a trip to Road America on August 24 and drove the No. 99. Hezemans started 24th overall on the road course and worked his way to a 22nd-place finish.
The 24-year-old returned to the NXS in 2021 and attempted to suit up for three races. Though he failed to qualify during the trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He drove for Carl Long Motorsports at Phoenix on Mar. 13, starting 40th and finishing 31st while driving the No. 13 Chevrolet Camaro. Hezemans then joined DGM Racing at Pocono on June 27, finishing 27th in the No. 90 Chevrolet Camaro.
Villeneuve Has Made Multiple Starts Across NASCAR Series
Hezemans is not the only member of the team that has experience on NASCAR circuits. Villeneuve also has an extensive resume that spans F1, IndyCar, and stock car racing. He has competed in several NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, Truck Series, and Euro events.
The 50-year-old ran four races in the Cup Series. He took on Talladega and Phoenix in 2007, posting a season-best finish of 21st at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Villeneuve then ran in the 2010 Brickyard 400 and the 2013 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
While he did not crack the top-20 during his limited Cup Series starts, Villeneuve turned in strong performances in what is now the Xfinity Series. He made nine starts at Road America, Watkins Glen, and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, a track named after his late father. Villeneuve finished top-five once at Watkins Glen and three separate times at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, including a third-place run in 2012 for Team Penske in which he led 43 laps.