A new NASCAR Cup Series team will be forming for the 2022 season as Reaume Brothers Racing will join forces with Hezeberg Systems to create Team Hezeberg Powered by Reaume Brothers. The team will field a part-time entry to be shared by Loris Hezemans and Jacques Villeneuve.
“For me, both as an owner and a driver, making it to Cup has been a goal of mine,” Josh Reaume stated in a team release. “Being able to finally achieve that goal as a small team, is a huge step for me personally, it’s a huge step for the growth of our program, and I honestly don’t know if I can think of a pair of drivers behind the wheel who could make me more excited.”
The team will compete on all road course events in 2022. And they may even contest some short tracks as well. The plan is to go full-time in 2023 depending on sponsorship.
The official unveil came in a press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday morning:
— Ford Performance (@FordPerformance) October 9, 2021
Who Is Loris Hezemans?
Hezemans, 24, is a NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion, who has seven-career victories in that Series. Additionally, Hezemans has made three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts and will make his fourth career NXS start Saturday at the Charlotte Roval.
The young driver from the Netherlands is ready to tackle the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022.
“A huge thanks to NASCAR for preparing me for this upcoming test. Words cannot describe how much of an honor it is to have this opportunity in the NASCAR Cup Series,” Hezemans said in a team release. “I remember my excitement about seeing the prototype of the Next Gen car in 2019 after the NASCAR awards ceremony. Now, two years later, having the opportunity to make my NASCAR Cup series debut the feeling is unreal.”
Jacques Villeneuve is Back!
Villeneuve is a Formula 1 champion (1997) who boasts 11 F1 wins in addition to an Indianapolis 500 victory (1995). From 2007 to 2013, Villeneuve made 20 NASCAR National Series starts, including four starts in the NASCAR Cup Series.
While it’s been a while since the legendary Jacques Villeneuve has climbed behind the wheel of a NASCAR stock car, he’s ready for the challenge of the Next Gen.
“I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to get back to the states to drive in NASCAR,” Villeneuve explained. “Joining Team Hezeberg Powered by Reaume Bros. and Loris in discovering the new NEXT Gen 7 cup car is very exciting. The years of experience in different forms of racing will be useful in working with the team and understanding the new car. Loris comes from a great racing family on top of his own successes. Racing him in Euro NASCAR has been fun and working together will be a good challenge.”
Team Hezeberg Powered by Reaume Brothers Will Test Next Gen at Charlotte Roval
We will get our first look at the brand new team as they’ll have their new No. 27 Ford Mustang participating in the Next Gen test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval on Monday and Tuesday.
“We really felt like running with Ford and Roush-Yates gave us the opportunity to go out and compete right off the jump,” Reaume said. “For a new team, sometimes it’s tough to get these things off the ground. But everyone involved has been great in helping RBR and the guys at the shop to make sure our number 27 machine will be ready to rock at the ROVAL. It’s a great time to get involved with the Cup Series because everyone is starting over. This new car, it’s a wildcard in the sense that no one knows a whole lot about it yet.”
Is This the Mystery Truck Series Team Going to Cup?
For those curious, the Reaume Brothers are the mystery full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team that we reported would be teaming to field a NASCAR Cup Series team in 2022 with support from Toyota. In an exclusive chat with TobyChristie.com, Reaume states that the team still could run the Toyota Camry in 2022. But it all boils down to which manufacturer will help their team the most in their transition to the NASCAR Cup Series. That will factor into the decision as to which nameplate Team Hezeberg utilizes next year.
“We purchased a considerable amount of Toyota-specific parts for the Next gen car and we have no intention of getting rid of them.” Reaume said.
“We’re in a bit of limbo where we’re deciding what we want to do for a manufacturer,” Reaume continued. “But obviously, we’re not going to give anybody anything for free. If we are going to run Ford, we expect Ford to help us. If we are going to run Toyota, we expect Toyota to help us.”
Heading into the Next Gen test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, Ford is currently the manufacturer most willing to help the upstart team so far. At least it seems.
Loris Hezemans will handle driving duties on Monday at the Roval test. And Jacques Villeneuve will take over driving the car on Tuesday.
Who Are the Men Behind Hezeberg Systems?
The two men behind the Team Hezeberg portion of the new team are Toine Hezemans — Loris’ father — and Ernst Berg.
Toine Hezemans is an accomplished racer in his own right. Toine captured wins in the 24 Hours of Spa (1973), 24 Hours of Daytona (1978) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1973 and 1975). Hezemans feels with the Next Gen race car sharing some similarities with the NASCAR Euro car, his son and their team should be able to hit the ground running.
“NASCAR’s great idea of returning the control back into the drivers’ hands is extremely exciting,” Hezemans said. “The Next Gen cars’ spec build share a lot of similarities to the cars we race in the NASCAR Euro Series. We have a very successful NASCAR Euro team, and we believe now is the perfect opportunity to join the sport. Based on that success and the similarities to the Next Gen car’s spec body, we believe that our success will translate to the NACAR Cup Series.”
For Berg, who also competed in prestigious endurance races in the 1970’s, it’s just exciting to be a part of the NASCAR Cup Series. And he vows his team will be ready for the challenge.
“NASCAR is huge! It doesn’t matter what part of the motorsport’s world you’re in, everyone in the world as a huge respect for NASCAR,” Berg stated. “The NEXT Gen car is very attractive, and we are excited to be a part of it. We are looking forward to the challenge of learning the new car and all of its technicalities. Being apart of the NASCAR Cup series is a very special opportunity and we will be ready for next season.”