TOURS, France – official series release by Gian Luca Guiglia, NWES — Stephane Azemard/NWES photo —
Nicolò Rocca won from the pole on Saturday at Tours Speedway to secure his second NASCAR Whelen Euro Series ELITE 1 victory of the 2015 season.
The Italian successfully defended the lead on restart four times from the assaults of Ander Vilarino and Frederic Gabillon to cross the finish line first for the second time in his career, also leading the Junior “Jerome Sarran” Trophy classification.
“I’m really really happy and I thank all the team for the fantastic car they gave me. The race was difficult because Vilarino and Gabillon were always very near and I never had the chance to breath,” said Rocca. “I would like to dedicate this win to my father Marco, because it’s thanks to him if I’m here today.”
Gabillon won the battle with Vilarino for second, taking advantage of a small mistake by the Spaniard in turn two on lap 45 and ended up second behind the Rocca to score his fifth top five of the season. With the third place, Vilarino slightly extended his championship lead on Eddie Cheever III – who ended up sixth under the checkered flag – and also posted the fastest lap of the race to start from the pole on Sunday.
Restarts were decisive throughout the field. Alon Day and Mathias Lauda completed the top five. Dominic Tiroch led the Challenger Trophy with the seventh place, just in front of Philipp Lietz. Freddy Nordström and Hugo Bec rounded out the top 10.
The race saw four caution periods. The first one was triggered by a spin from Stéphane Sabates on lap one. The safety car was again on track on lap 18 to remove some debris, while the third yellow flag waved for a spin by Renzo Calcinati. The fourth and final caution was triggered by a contact between Brands Hatch race winner Romain Iannetta and Bert Longin that sent the Belgian spinning.
Reigning champion Anthony Kumpen fell victim of a problem with his car and had to retire on lap 59, taking a big hit to his championship hopes.
CREDIT: NASCAR Home Tracks