NASCAR announced this week that it had granted NASCAR Touring Series status to the Euro Racecar Series, putting it alongside similar regional championships in the US, Canada and Mexico.

The new partnership means that Euro Racecar will be the officially sanctioned way in for European drivers to graduate on to NASCAR's three US-based national championships - Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.

"Obviously, this is great news for everyone involved in Euro Racecar," said J?rome Galpin, who was the creator of the series that began in 2009 and is currently run by Team FJ with the support of the French Federation (FFSA).

"Joining NASCAR means entering a great family were key words are passion, professionalism and commitment," continued Galpin. "Beyond the recognition, this agreement is a fantastic boost for our series to become one of the main motor sport series in Europe."

Under the long-term deal between the series and NASCAR, Team FJ will remain the exclusive managers and Euro Racecar will continue to also be registered as an FIA International Series.

"We are proud to welcome Euro Racecar to our family," said George Silbermann, NASCAR's Vice President for Regional and Touring Series. "Fans can enjoy the excitement of great stock car racing in locations across the Europe, while talented drivers take the important first step on NASCAR's ladder system."

The partnership will see NASCAR contribute its knowledge and expertise to develop the series in Europe and in creating high-profile sporting events. Euro Racecar was inspired from the start by the NASCAR model and races with tubular chassis cars powered by American V8s.

The first Euro Racecar event of the 2012 season is at Nogaro in France on April 7-8. The series also joins the DTM race weekend at Brands Hatch on May 19-20 before further events at Spa in Belgium, the Tours Speedway in France, and Valencia in Spain before wrapping up in Le Mans in October followed by a non-championship event at Daytona in Florida, US in November.

The Euro Racecar Champion, as well as the runner-up and third-place finisher, will be honoured at the 2012 NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Series Awards Gala in December.