February 24, 2014
Published on tags: Superleague

 

SimCraft Midnight Motorsport today made the shock announcement that reigning two time Superleague champion, Lukas Euler, has been forced to withdraw from competition with immediate effect.

The announcement, made today by the team alongside the German champion, is one that will undoubtedly rock the foundations of the team, which has been the only outfit with which Euler has competed during his time in the league, throughout the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Beginning with a debut win at the first round of the 2012 Superleague season, replacing the outgoing Dave Carr-Smith at the then Midnight Motorsport, Euler secured an incredible nine wins in his debut season with a further six podiums and an unparalleled fifteen pole positions en route to both his and the team's first championship success. He returned for the team in 2013, now dubbed SimCraft Midnight Motorsport and whilst it was a tougher season compared to the previous year, with just six wins and a further nine podiums, it was still to be the German's year with him finishing just three points ahead of season long title rival Ruud Heesterbeek of Nijo Racing following the conclusion of the 2013 season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

Statement from Lukas Euler:

“I expect this to be quite a shock for everyone around here and I can assure everyone this was far from an easy decision for me to make, but in the end it is the right thing to do. Things in my real life have evolved to the degree that I could not guarantee my participation in a lot of races of the 2014 season. I approached the team a few weeks ago when I know it could happen that I would miss a few races, or in the worst case, the whole season. I was able to complete pre-season which was the least I could do. But in the past days it became clear to me that this season will not be possible. Not in the way the league deserves a number one to take part, not in the way my team deserves a driver to do, and not how I want to compete in terms of preparation, commitment and time. It has been a tough decision, but I stand behind it, even though I have to admit, it will leave an emptiness for a while.

As few people know this was supposed to be my last season, one last year I wanted to give all I have. I knew it was coming to a close for me in terms of Superleague, but the time has come earlier than I expect it. Like we use to say in Germany "Erstens kommt es anders, und zweitens als man denkt", I don't think there is a valid translation for this, so I will let it stand. I honestly hope you all will understand and of course we will meet again on track, at some point I am absolutely certain!

I would really like to thank Nick and Dave, first of all for giving me the opportunity back in 2012 with Midnight and afterwards for building such a great team and group of friends. I would also like to thank everyone I raced and who races in the GPVWC, because it has been a lot of fun, anywhere I raced here. I wish everyone who competes in 2014 the very best!”

Euler had completed all four pre-season tests, and was one of the clear favourites for the season opening Australian Grand Prix, scheduled to take place in just four days' time. The news leaves the team a man down, and with the vast majority of the competitors now committed to teams throughout the Career Ladder, it is unclear as to whom the team will turn to occupy the now zero numbered SimCraft Midnight Motorsport MM-04, alongside Italian Giuseppe Rainieri.

Statement from SimCraft Midnight Motorsport:

“Naturally, we’re saddened to be losing Lukas as a driver, particularly when you take into account that there are now just three days until the opening round in Melbourne. We certainly feel like we would have been in a position to help Lukas achieve his goal of three consecutive championships and it is of course with regret that we announce today that this will not be a possibility.

Whilst Lukas will not be a fixture of the Superleague race team, we fully expect that he will remain an integral part of the outfit in some form. He and each of the other members within the team have become good friends since he joined us for his debut season in 2012 and that is not something that is going to disappear as a result of this news.

We can only wish Lukas the best and thank him for the great times he has shared with us throughout the past two seasons, it has certainly been an honour to have him lead SimCraft Midnight Motorsport to championship success on both attempts within the Superleague and of course we wish him as much success with his future endeavours away from the track.

As to who will now drive alongside Giuseppe Rainieri, at this stage we cannot confirm. We have a number of options available to us, each of which we strongly believe will aid the team in continuing where we left off in 2013, and where we had hoped to be heading with Lukas and Giuseppe through what is sure to be a challenging 2014. But this is news that we will look to confirm at a later date.”

There are of course two clear options; the team's 2013 race driver and team-mate to Euler, Alex Cooper - who is currently signed to the team as a reserve driver, with duties at Supercup team SimCraft Racing - could of course be called upon to make the step back up to the Superleague. Having finished fifth in the 2013 championship standings, with four podiums and a pole position at the Korean Grand Prix, Cooper would be a wise choice for the team, a known quantity at a time of uncertainty. An alternative possibility is that of Team Owner and 2012 race driver Nick Rowland, who after a year out of the Superleague, honing his craft elsewhere, is undoubtedly one of the top candidates for the role with no current contract in place to race elsewhere in the Career Ladder and a history of working alongside Rainieri in alternative competitions.

What is certain is that the team now have a very stressful four days ahead of them, with some big decisions to make for the future of the team if they intend to fight for a third consecutive championship, the good news is that we won't have to wait very long at all to find out just how SimCraft Midnight Motorsport will react.



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