Defending NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion Alon Day holds on to sweep ELITE 1 division events in 2018 opener.
If the opening weekend is any indication, defending NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion Alon Day put everyone on notice he wants to win back-to-back titles.
Day held off two-time champion Anthony Kumpen by just .628 seconds to collect his 12th ELITE 1 division win Sunday at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.
Dating back to last season, Day has now won five of the last six ELITE 1 division races in the NWES.
“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 and race leader Marc Goossens. “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.”
Kumpen and his team struggled with the setup of his car throughout the weekend and had to repair the car after the ELITE 2 race earlier in the day scoring a podium finish.
“It was a pretty hectic race,” said Kumpen. “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 earned another podium finish at Ricardo Tormo and was followed by Stienes Longin and Borja Garcia to complete the top five.
Romain Iannetta finished sixth to score the first ELITE 1 top-10 in Euro NASCAR for the GO Fas Racing team. Gianmarco Ercoli advanced eight spots in the race to finish seventh.
Former NASCAR Cup Champion Bobby Labonte started 14th and scored his first top-10 finish of the season as the Texas-native finished eighth place. Wilfried Boucenna finished ninth to secure the Challenger Trophy ahead of Lucas Lasserre who closed out the Top 10.
Boucenna brings out the broom too
Wilfried Boucenna equaled the performance of Alon Day as he also swept both races in the ELITE 2 division at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.. The Frenchman won his fourth career ELITE 2 over Nicholas Risitano who scored a podium finish in just his second NASCAR race and led the Rookie Cup.
“We took a great start from the pole position but the safety car bunched us up together again. We timed the restart very well and from then I tried to manage my advantage and at the same time take care of the equipment for the ELITE 1 race of my teammate. This is a fantastic way to begin the season for the entire Knauf Racing Team,” said Boucenna.
Florian Venturi finished third with Paul Guiod and Guillaume Deflandre rounding out the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Marconi Abreu, Gil Linster, Felipe Rabello, Pierluigi Veronesi and Tom Boonen.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Jennifer Jo Cobb finished 19th in her second ELITE 2 division start over the weekend.