Guillaume Deflandre (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) snatched a dramatic win at the legendary Hockenheimring in the ELITE 2 Semi Final 2 and took over the championship lead. After dominating the first 15 laps of the race Ulysse Delsaux (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry) surrendered the lead with three corners left while nursing a right rear puncture, spun and finished 20th.
A crash at the start involving Massimiliano Lanza (#41 The Club Motorsports Ford Mustang), Tom Boonen (#91 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and Renzo Calcinati (#47 MRT Nocentini Ford Mustang) triggered an early safety car. Delsaux perfectly handled the ensuing restart and drove away until his right rear tire gave up in the Motodrom.
Deflandre, who was leading a tight and spectacular battle for second place, took advantage of the situation to grab the checkered flag and the red Whelen sticker going to the championship leader.
“Ulysse was too wide on the outside in the turn and got a puncture,” said Deflandre who won his second race of the season for Memphis Racing. “That was my big opportunity to win the race and I did it. It’s a big win for us because Ulysse has been a bit faster than me. I pushed so hard to close the gap. I’m the championship leader now but we are so close together that it will be a difficult Final at Zolder.”
“It was a slow puncture and I was trying to stay out front, doing my very best,” said Delsaux. “But in the end I was not able to keep the car on track and I spun out. We were fast, we will have to fight back at Zolder.”
Paul Guiod (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) was second ahead of Rookie Cup winner Florian Venturi (#32 Go Fas Racing Ford Mustang), Felipe Rabello (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) and Wilfried Boucenna (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang), who rounded out the top 5 at the end of a breath-taking four-way battle. Jesse Vartiainen (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) had a strong second race in NWES and was sixth under the checkered flag. The Finn was second in the Rookie Cup.
“Ulysse had a problem in the last lap and we managed to move up a position,” said Guiod. “We were quite good and close to Guillaume. We are very happy with the result and we want to get back on the podium and win a race in the Finals at Zolder next month.”
“Yesterday I was very disappointed as we could not reach a spot on the podium,” said Venturi, who positioned himself to win the 2018 Rookie Cup and a race in the US with it. “I took no risks and was very careful. I’m very happy to finish third in such a close race. It’s very good for the Rookie Cup but I absolutely want to win the championship! I want to thank my team, family and partners for the great support.”
Pierluigi Veronesi (#27 BVR Motorsport Ford Mustang), who was third in the Rookie Cup, ended up seventh. Justin Kunz (#46 Racing Total Ford Mustang) had an intense battle with Boucenna and finished eighth after an incident with the Frenchman sent both off track. Nicholas Risitano (#8 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) and Gil Linster (#44 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) completed the top 10.
Mirco Schultis (#70 Mishumotors Chevrolet SS) won the Legend Trophy by finishing twelfth and Arianna Casoli (#54 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) won the battle against Carmen Boix Gil (#10 Racing Total Chevrolet SS) for the Lady Cup.
The ELITE 2 will be back for the Euro NASCAR Finals on October 20-21 at the legendary Circuit Zolder in Belgium. All races will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, Motorsport.tv, the NWES Facebook page, the Euro NASCAR YouTube channel and a vast network of websites and social media profiles around the world.