NWES 2018 SEASON
Bring out the broom: Alon Day sweeps the weekend
A perfect season-opening weekend for the reigning champion
Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) had a perfect weekend in Valencia for the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season opener. After winning on Saturday, Day also won an eventful second round of the ELITE 1 Division. The Tel-Aviv resident grabbed his 12th career Euro NASCAR win by beating Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) to the line by 0.628 seconds after two restarts.
Including the 2017 playoffs, Day has won five out of the last six NWES races.
“I could not ask for a better way to finish the weekend,” said Day, who inherited the lead on lap 2 after a huge crash between Loris Hezemans (#50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang) and race leader Marc Goossens (#91 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang). “Sometimes you just need some luck and the luck was on our side today. Our team did a great job. The car is fantastic. When I had the lead I was able to stay out front. It’s a great way to open the season. I am happy for CAAL Racing and we have now five wins in six races. I think that it’s a great record.”
“It was a pretty hectic race,” said Kumpen, whose PK Carsport team was put to test to repair the #24 Chevrolet after the ELITE 2 race. “The car felt really good. If you start from fifth and finish second it’s good because this is a really tight championship, it is not easy. I am pleased with the results we got this weekend. Finishing third and second after the difficult start we had is very positive. I know we can fight for the championship this year.”
Frederic Gabillon (#3 RDV Competition Toyota Camry) earned another strong podium finish at the Ricardo Tormo, by crossing the finish line 2.353 seconds behind Day. Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) came from eighth to fourth, while Borja Garcia (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) closed the top-5 on his home track. Romain Iannetta (#32 GO Fas Racing Ford Mustang) scored the first ELITE 1 top-10 in Euro NASCAR for the GO Fas Racing team.
Gianmarco Ercoli (#9 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) completed a huge comeback from 15th on the grid to seventh under the checkered flag and won the Junior Trophy classification. NASCAR Cup Champion Bobby Labonte (#18 RDV Competition Toyota Camry) continued his progress with another consistent performance: after starting 14th on the grid, the Texas-native closed the Valencia weekend in 8th place. Wilfried Boucenna (#73 Knauf Racing Ford Mustang) grabbed the Challenger Trophy ahead of Lucas Lasserre (#33 Mishumotors Chevrolet SS), who closed the Top 10 after a difficult start.
Martin Doubek (#5 Renauer Motorsport Ford Mustang) was eleventh and second in Junior Trophy ahead of Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Ford Mustang) who took the last spot on the Junior Trophy podium. Jerry de Weerdt (#78 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang) crossed the finish line in 15th and secured the second place in the Challenger Trophy ahead of Mauro Trione (#31 Race Art Blu Motorsport Ford Mustang). The Italian scored his first Challenger Trophy podium in his NASCAR debut.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will now head to Franciacorta for Round 3 and 4 of the 2018 championship with Alon Day leading the standings with eleven points on Gabillon and Kumpen.
Photo Credit: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
Valencia / Franciacorta / Brands Hatch / Tours / Hockenheim / Zolder
UP NEXT: VALENCIA
Valencia NASCAR Fest – NASCAR GP SPAIN
Date – April 14-15
Type – Road Course
Turns – 14
ABOUT NASCAR WHELEN EURO SERIES
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series was founded in 2008 and established the NASCAR official European Series in January 2012 thanks to a long-term partnership signed with NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), Team FJ, a Motorsports company located in Blois, France, and Whelen Engineering as title sponsor of the Series.The season is made up of 24 races, equally split among ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 divisions, on the best European tracks. Euro NASCAR introduced a stunning innovation on July 7-8, 2012 by organizing the first ever NASCAR race on an oval track in Europe on a half-mile speedway built in the downtown of Tours (France). With four races in two days, these 400 HP V8 monsters provide pure racing action and thrilling bumper-to-bumper battles as well as a lot of family fun around the track! In the pure NASCAR tradition, race fans can get closer to the action than ever and feel the unique in Europe paddock atmosphere thanks to drivers, teams and cars always available for the spectators.The series attracts drivers from all over the world, all willing to fight on track for the win and take the first step towards becoming a NASCAR star in the U.S