Wilfried Boucenna (#37 Knauf Racing Ford Mustang) won the first ELITE 2 race of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series at the end of an intense battle with Ulysse Delsaux (#3 RDV Competition Toyota Camry), who was poised to take the checkered flag on the track that gave him his first NASCAR win in 2017.
Delsaux started from the pole but lost the lead in the first lap to Boucenna, who kept his fellow countryman at bay until a restart with five laps to go. Delsaux took the lead for but Boucenna countered with the final move with three laps left in the 16-lap race.
“I had a good start and managed to overtake Ulysse and then I tried to manage a little advantage but after the safety car period he took a good opportunity and passed me. In the end I was able to fight back and retake the lead and I have to thank Knauf, my team and all the people supporting me for making this possible,” said Boucenna in Victory Lane.
Delsaux said: “I had a bad start because I was not ready. After that I just focused on the race and I overtook Wilfried but my wheels locked entering a corner and he got me again. It’s great to finish on the podium. Tomorrow I will try to fight for the win again. I am very focused on the race on Sunday right now.”
GO Fas Racing experienced a successful NWES debut in ELITE 2 with Florian Venturi (#32 GO Fas Racing Ford Mustang), who took third and won the Rookie Cup. He fended off every attack from Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS), who had to settle for fourth. Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) from Japan earned his first top-5 5 and finished second in the Rookie Cup behind Venturi.
Nicholas Risitano (#8 Racers Motorsport) crossed the finish line in sixth. He also grabbed the last podium spot in the Rookie Cup. Marconi Abreu (#40 MRT Nocentini Ford Mustang) was seventh ahead of young guns Maciej Dreszer (#56 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS), who battled for a place in the early stages and Gil Linster (#44 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS). Newcomer Maxime Pampel (#5 Renauer Motorsport Ford Mustang) closed the top-10.
Guillaume Deflandre (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet SS) and Justin Kunz (#46 Racing Total Chevrolet SS) both lost their spot in the top 10 due to penalties for contacts during the race.
Arianna Casoli (#54 CAAL Racing) ended up 15th winning both the Lady Cup and the Legend Trophy. Filippo Vita (#9 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) was second in the Legend Trophy in his NASCAR debut, finishing ahead of Jennifer Jo Cobb (#10 Racing Total Chevrolet SS) and Carmen Gil Boix (#1 Alex Caffi Motosport Ford Mustang) who rounded out the Lady Cup Podium. Jo Cobb also grabbed the third position in the Legend Trophy.
Green flag will drop for the second ELITE 2 race at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain on Sunday at 10:50 CET (4:50 am ET).