Milford, Connecticut - After having a handful of days to digest securing their first championships after only 3 years of existence, FCP Euro’s BMW Catalog Manager and Race Technician, Gareth Foley, summed up the experience. “ Surreal is probably the best word,” he
stated. “Bottom line is if you told me in 2016 that we would be title contenders on the level we're at right now, I wouldn't be able to map that reality out or make sense of it.“
FCP Euro is an online retailer of European automotive parts based in Milford, Connecticut. Despite being a young team in the world of pro-racing, FCP Euro secured all three 2019 TCR championships in the TC America series, formerly known as Pirelli World Challenge, and now part of SRO America. A program that started with an old BMW 3-series in low budget endurance racing and only a handful of people, has quickly evolved into a dominant force in Touring Car racing in the United States, now running two Volkswagen GTI TCR SEQ models.
The company has documented their growth in motorsport via their in-house produced documentary series, The Paddock . The season two finale detailing the successes of 2019 and the path to get there, premieres Thursday November 21st at 6:30pm on the company’s YouTube channel.
“We have the most dedicated and hard-working people I've ever had the pleasure to be associated with,” enthused FCP Euro Brand Director and 2019 Driver Champion Michael Hurczyn. “Finishing a race well is just the tip of the iceberg, but the mountains of effort that go into our company's success are the main reason we can be successful.”
Hurczyn, with an impressive run of having never finished off the podium in 2019 until the last two races of the season, was able to clinch the title over teammate and co-worker, Nate Vincent. The duo of Hurczyn and Vincent may be the most visible members of Team FCP Euro, but both credit the day to day employees with the success of the program, and indeed the company’s success overall.
Vice President of Operations, Alex Frank, agreed with the assessment, “All of the achievements of the program are the result of the incredible talent back home at FCP Euro that supports it. The podiums are wonderful, but the program’s abilities and the enthusiasm around it are what we’re really proud of.”
Scott Drozd, FCP Euro CEO, credits the motorsport program with giving further structure and a more prominent presence to FCP Euro in the marketplace. “In 2016 when we started racing, we knew we had a great e-commerce company but we didn’t have the strongest consumer-facing enthusiast brand,” he said. “The motorsport program has been transformational in galvanizing the FCP Euro brand in the eyes of automotive enthusiasts.”
The benefits of the motorsport program have been wide-ranging, attracting the same dedicated enthusiasts that FCP Euro wishes to serve, to work at the company as well.
“The motorsport program has helped solidify the Euro in FCP Euro within the company,” said President and Founder Nick Bauer. “Let me go back to 3 years ago, before the program. At that time roughly 30% of our team members drove a European vehicle to work, and we now have over 80% driving European vehicles. To have that change in such a short period of time really shows that it was a factor supporting our brand growth both internally and externally.”
Bauer echoed the sentiments of others when it comes to credit for the outstanding result, after such a short time in existence.
“The drivers get a lot of the credit for the results of the program, but we've made this work at FCP Euro with a commitment from the entire team,” he said. “We sent employees from throughout the organization to each race, and at each race we had at least ten employees contribute to the success in some shape or form. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes to not only make it work, but make it work to the level that is the standard for FCP Euro.”
Consistent with the above statement, FCP Euro also received the Jim Cook Memorial Award for 2019. The Jim Cook Memorial Award honors an individual or team who has made significant contributions to the overall success of the SRO America organization through promotional activities, and a consistent display of good character and sportsmanship.
“Being so new to the series, I don't think any of us at the time had any understanding of the award,” stated Bauer. “Now that we've all had time to digest and learn about it, its an incredible honor to be recognized within SRO for the efforts that the entire team has put in this year.”
Nate Vincent, FCP Euro Director of Motorsport, driver of the number 72, and this year’s 2nd place finisher in the TC America Championship, feels that despite the achievement and celebration, it’s no time to sit back and rest on your laurels.
“We are racers... we will always look to the next challenge. How we navigate that challenge is what we need to prove,” he said. “The team challenges ourselves in a public arena whether that's AER, TC America, or any other series. We work really hard, focus on the goal, and with a little luck, we can deliver a championship. This is just the beginning.”
FCP Euro’s documentary series, ‘The Paddock,’ season finale premieres Thursday October 21st at 6:30pm ET on YouTube.com.