The first Pole Awards of the new NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season went to Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing, Chevrolet SS) in the ELITE 1 Division and Wilfried Boucenna (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) in the ELITE 2 Division. The reigning NWES Champion edged Marc Goossens (#91 Braxx Racing, Chevrolet SS) by 0.252 seconds with a lap in 1:39.795 minutes which represents a new track record for the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Day and Goossens will start on the front row for the second consecutive time after 2017’s last race of the season at Circuit Zolder.
“It‘s great. We are keeping the momentum from last year. This is the best a team can do. We worked really hard during the off season and this result is perfect for us. Qualifying wasn’t easy at all. The competition this year is unbelievably tough. I switched the “party mode” on and got the pole position,” said Day after Qualifying.
Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport, Chevrolet SS) ended up third with a gap of 0.353 seconds. He will start alongside local hero Borja Garcia (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport, Ford Mustang) who set the fourth fastest time of the day with in 1:40.189 minutes. Lucas Lasserre (#33 Mishumotors, Chevrolet SS) rounded up the top 5 for his Mishumotors team.
Kumpen’s teammate Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport, Chevrolet SS) took sixth place. The Belgian was 0.441 seconds slower than the leader while Frederic Gabillon (#3 RDV Competition, Ford Mustang) will be in fourth row ahead of Wilfried Boucenna (#73 Knauf Racing, Ford Mustang). ELITE 2 Champion Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing, Ford Mustang) and newcomer Loris Hezemans (#50 Hendriks Motorsport, Ford Mustang) rounded out the top 10.
Bobby Labonte will start 21st for his first outing at the Ricardo Tormo and will have to climb his way back towards the front.
The first race of the ELITE 1 championship is schedule 13:30 CET (7:20 am ET).
Boucenna edges Delsaux for the pole
In ELITE 2 Wilfried Boucenna (#37 Knauf Racing, Ford Mustang) was the fastest driver on the track. The Frenchman drove a lap time of 1:40.935 minutes, barely edging Ulysse Delsaux by a mere 0.027. Rookie and former Formula 4 driver Florian Venturi (#32 GO Fas Racing, Ford Mustang) ended up third in GO Fas Racing’s European debut.
“It was a very strong qualifying session. We had a solid practice yesterday and we worked very well with my crew chief and my fantastic Knauf Racing Team,” said Boucenna. “The pole position was our goal and we achieved it so we are looking forward to today’s race to make Knauf and all our fans proud.”
Maciej Dreszer (#56 CAAL Racing, Chevrolet SS) ended up fourth right ahead of Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport, Chevrolet SS) who rounded out the top 5. Paul Guiod (#73 Knauf Racing, Ford Mustang) was sixth fastest beating Gil Linster (#44 CAAL Racing, Chevrolet), Justin Kunz (#46 Racing Total, Chevrolet SS), Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport, Toyota Camry) and Carmen Boix Gil (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport, Toyota Camry), who led the Lady Cup in 10th place.
Felipe Rabello (#11 PK Carsport, Chevrolet SS) will have to start from the eleventh place after his superpole laps were deleted for not respecting track limits. Guillaume Deflandre (#77 Memphis Racing, Chevrolet SS) spun and did not set a time, therefore starting 12th on the grid for the first ELITE 2 race of the season, which will take place 16:50 CET (10:50 ET).
All the races will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Facebook page and Youtube channel and on Motorsport.tv.