Day and Dumarey on pole at the Euro NASCAR Finals
Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) smashed his own track record at Circuit Zolder on the way to his fourth pole position of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. The Israeli granted himself the best starting position among the four title contenders by clocking a lap of 1:38.086 around the 4-km Belgian track. Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) grabbed the pole position in the ELITE 2 Division on his home track as four title contenders ended up inside the top-8.
In the ELITE 1 Division, Day may have given himself a decisive advantage in the battle for the Euro NASCAR title as his rivals will start fourth, fifth and seventh in the ELITE 1 Final 1.
“It doesn’t matter that the other contenders are not at the top,” said Day, who scored his 4th consecutive pole position at Circuit Zolder and the 10th of his NASCAR career. “It only means that my team did a great job. We know that we are quick here at Zolder. The others have a chance to rebound so I have to focus on myself and get the job done. I will try to stay out of trouble and do the best I can.”
Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) will start next to Day in front of his home crowd. Alexander Graff (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) ended up third ahead of championship contenders Loris Hezemans (#50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang) and Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry), who rounded out the top-5. Nicolo Rocca (#56 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) was sixth overall and second in the Junior Trophy in his return to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Championship leader Lucas Lasserre (#33 Mavi Mishumotors Chevrolet SS) will start from seventh position ahead of Junior Trophy driver and 2017 ELITE 2 champion Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang). Alex Sedgwick (#90 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and Christophe Bouchut (#66 Dexwet-DF1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro) completed the top-10. In the Challenger Trophy Henri Tuomaala (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) held off his teammate Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) thanks to the 15th spot on the grid.
Dumarey fastest in front of his home crowd
In the ELITE 2 Division Dumarey was fastest by clocking his best lap in 1:39.227 during the Superpole session. The Belgian beat Maciej Dreszer (#56 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) by 5 tenths of a second. Wilfried Boucenna (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) was third ahead of championship contender Florian Venturi (#32 Go Fas Racing Ford Mustang), who was the best Rookie Cup driver.
“It’s great, after the battle we had in Tours and after I had to skip the race at Hockenheim,” said Dumarey, who turned 32 yesterday. “I wanted to prove that I’m a top driver in the ELITE 2. This is our home track and that is an extra motivation for me and the whole team. We had some troubles this year and we decided to make something nice out of this weekend here at Zolder. We are on the right track and now we just have to finish.”
Felipe Rabello (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) rounded out the top-5 ahead of Ulysse Delsaux (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry), who sits second in the overall ELITE 2 standings. Championship leader Guillaume Deflandre (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) will start eighth behind Justin Kunz (#46 Racing Total Ford Mustang). Gil Linster (#44 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) and Pedro Bonnet (#90 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) closed the top-10.
Visiting Canadian NASCAR Pinty’s Series driver Jean-Francois Dumoulin (#04 Spectra Premium RDV Competition Toyota Camry) was 14th quickest in his NASCAR Whelen Euro Series debut. Francesco Parli (#31 Race Art Technology / Blu Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro) was the fastest in the Legend Trophy in 16th place. Carmen Boix Gil (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) led the Lady Cup in qualifying by grabbing the 20th spot on the grid.
The great show of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will resume this afternoon with the Final 1 of both Divisions: the ELITE 1 will start at 2 pm while the green flag for the ELITE 2 will wave at 4:50 pm. The most anticipated races of the year at the iconic Circuit Zolder will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Facebook page, Youtube channel and Twitter profile, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles.