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BLOIS, France – Two weeks after visiting the historic Italian Autodromo di Monza for the semifinals, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will make its final stop of the season at another legendary European track as the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans hosts the season finale on Oct. 12-13 with everything on the line. With doubled points awarded in the playoffs, the title contenders can’t afford one single mistake, making the French weekend more exciting than ever.
In what is becoming a tradition, the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans has been the final battleground for the championship contenders. Both the Elite Division and Open Division titles are up for grabs which sets up an exciting weekend at the historic venue.
With potentially 192 points still to be awarded in the Elite Division, championship scenarios are many and varied. Defending champion Ander Vilarino (No. 2 TFT Banco Santander) has been atop the standings all season and holds a 34-point advantage on second-place Frederic Gabillon (No. 5 Rapido Racing by Still). Yann Zimmer (No. 33 OverDrive), who reached his first career win at Monza, occupies the third position just a single marker in back of Zimmer. Romain Iannetta (No. 1 RDV Competition) – 92 points off the pace – and fellow countryman Anthony Gandon (No. 7 TFT-E.Leclerc) round out the top five in the Elite Division standings.
All told, 13 drivers are still mathematically in contention for the title.
The Open Division championship also is up in the air with Australian Josh Burdon (No. 18 Scorpus Racing/Forza Motorsport) and Frenchman Anthony Gandon (No. 7 TFT-E.Leclerc) at the top of the heap having the best opportunities. After a win in the first Monza race, Gandon took the lead in the standings, but Burdon leapfrogged back into the lead with a victory in the second race. Burdon leads Gandon by just two points heading into the final weekend.
Julien Goupy (No. 44 Rapido racing By Still), Guillaume Rousseau (No. 13 Bull Racing Team) and Gabriele Volpato (No. 64 Gonneau Racing) are very much in the mix, as well. Volpato, fifth in the standings, trails Burdon by 71 points.
|Race||Le Mans Finals|
|Location||Le Mans (Sarthe, France)|
|TV||Premier Sports UK, Motors TV UK (Great Britain), AB Moteurs (France), Canal + Spain (Spain), Rai Sport (Italy), Speed Australia (Australia), ESPN Middle-East/Africa (50 countries in Middle-East and Asia), Esporte Interativo (Brasil), Setanta Sports Africa.|
|Circuit||Bugatti Circuit, 4.185-km (2.6-mile), 8-turn road course|
|Schedule (GMT +1)||Friday: Free Practice 1 3:00-3:50 p.m.; Free Practice 2 4:30-5:20 p.m. Saturday: Elite Qualifying 9:45-10 a.m.; Open Qualifying 11:20-11:35 a.m.; Elite Race 1 2:40-3:10 p.m.; Open Race 1 : 5:10-5:40 p.m. Sunday: Elite Race 2 11:20-11:50 a.m.; Open Race 2 3:45-4:15|
|NWES Contact||Anne Galpin, +33 6 76 04 11 89, email@example.com|
EVENT SCHEDULE | ENTRY LIST
NASCAR WHELEN EURO NOTES
For the Junior Trophy, Yann Zimmer has a 75-point lead thanks to his strong performance at Monza. Anthony Gandon moved to second place, overtaking both Anthony Garbarino (No. 3 TFT-Alpes Carrelages) and Freddy Nordström (No. 44 Rapido Racing by Still), now respectively third and fourth.
Bruno Cosin (No. 55 Pole Position 81) saw his margin reduced to just one point over Guillaume Rousseau for the Challenger Trophy following Monza. Stéphane Jaggi (No. 22 OverDrive-Moser Vernet) is third, 20 points behind.
In the Open Division, Joaquin Gabarron (No. 5 Rapido Racing by Still) is dominating the Gentleman Trophy competition with a 37-point margin over Eric Quintal (No. 2 TFT-Banco Santander). Christophe de Fierlant (No. 46 Racing Club Partners) is in third position. Jérôme Laurin (No. 55 Pole Position 81) leads the Legend Trophy ahead of Léonard Vernet (No. 22 OverDrive-Moser Vernet) by just four points, while Didier Bec (No. 8 RDV Competition) is third.
Format: The starting grid will consist of 25 cars in both Elite and Open Divisions. The two drivers of each car share time during the two 45-minute free sessions after which each of them takes part in a 15-minute qualifying session. Elite and Open each take part in two 30-minute races.
The Circuit: Built in 1965, the Bugatti Circuit hosted the Grand Prix de l'ACF two years later and from 1969 built an international reputation for hosting motorcycle racing (including the Bol d'Or, MotoGP and Le Mans 24 Hours) as well as international car series and the FIA European Truck Racing Championship. The latter will share the track with the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for the event that will attract over 50,000 spectators.