After grabbing the checkered flag on Saturday, Wilfried Boucenna (#37 Knauf Racing Ford Mustang) won again in the ELITE 2 division at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. The Frenchman won his fourth career ELITE 2 win on Nicholas Risitano (#8 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang), who climbed on the podium in his second ever NASCAR race and led the Rookie Cup.
Boucenna survived an early caution and timed his restart perfectly on lap 5 to defend the lead, then drove away and crossed the finish line with a margin of 3.156 seconds on Risitano, who set the fastest lap of the race while trying to close the gap from the leader but had to settle
“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.
“It’s fantastic! Unbelievable! It’s my first race weekend in NASCAR and we managed to go on the podium and win the Rookie Cup! I never drove this kind of cars before, so I’m very happy about what we did as a team. I couldn’t ask for more and I want to thank Racers Motorsport, my spotter, all my sponsors for making this happen.” commented Risitano. “Next race will be Franciacorta, my home race in front of all my friends and my fans. I’m confident that with a little more experience we can be even faster! We want to go for the win!”
Florian Venturi (#32 GO Fas Racing Chevrolet SS) started from the front row, but an early contact sent him down the order. The Frenchman climbed back up to a podium position and was second in the Rookie Cup, culminating a successful debut at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. Boucenna’s teammate Paul Guiod (#73 Knauf Racing Ford Mustang) edged Guillaume Deflandre (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet SS), who rounded out the top 5 after coming from 9th on the grid.
Marconi Abreu (#40 MRT Nocentini Ford Mustang) crossed the finish line sixth ahead of Gil Linster (#44 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS), who climbed up from 13th on the grid. PK Carsport driver Felipe Rabello (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) ended up eight while Pierluigi Veronesi (#27 BVR Motorsport Ford Mustang) recorded his first ever top-10 and went on the Rookie Cup podium. World Cycling Champion Tom Boonen (#91 Braxx Racing Chevrolet SS) brought home a solid finish in his NASCAR debut by rounding out the top-10.
Jerry de Weerdt (#78 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang) grabbed the win in the Legend Trophy with the eleventh place. Carmen Boix Gil (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) took the Lady Cup win by finishing 12th, ahead of Arianna Casoli (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) – the Italian was 15th under the checkered flag – and Jennifer Jo Cobb (#10 Racing Total Chevrolet SS) who rounded out the Lady Cup by finishing 19th.
The ELITE 2 Division will return to action on May 19-20 at Franciacorta for Round 3&4 of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Season.