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With a dominating performance in the first ELITE 1 race of the NASCAR GP of Italy at the Autodromo di Franciacorta, Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) turned the points standing around and took the lead of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship.
The 25-year-old from Ashdod, Israel, took his eighth career win and the second of the season, the third in the Semi Finals and the third in Italy at the wheel of the #54 CAAL Racing chevy by outdueling poleman Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) in the first two exciting laps of the race and pulling away to an outstanding 9 seconds lead under the checkered flag. Day leaped to the top of the standings with 5 points on Garcia and 7 on Kumpen.
"I‘m ecstatic about the win today because it was a crazy race. I was really fast in the dry but I know Fred Gabillon is a real fighter and I‘m glad that we had very clean and nice battle for the lead,” said Day, who recently became the first NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the US. “My CAAL Racing team is amazing and did an impressive job. I‘m very thankful to all the mechanics and the other team members. The car was so fast, probably the fastest I’ve ever had. I know this track very well and we tested here a few times with the whole team. We did our homework and we worked hard and you see, practice makes it perfect."
Gabillon, who was very strong in the rain in qualifying, defended his second place from Marc Goossens (#90 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang) all race long and brought home some important points in his quest for the title.
"It was a good race for me but it was impossible for me to keep Alon at bay. We’re not that good yet when we have a dry track,” said the Frenchman. “It will be a very hard second race for us on Sunday if the weather stays like this, but I‘m still hoping for the rain to come. Marc, who finished behind me, was really fast too. He was better than me in the slow turns but in the faster turns I was a little bit stronger than him. It was an amazing and fair battle."
2010 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion Lucas Lasserre was a solid fourth in his first race for Mishumotors and gave the German team its best results in NASCAR so far by edging Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS), who led the Junior Trophy classification, and Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) in spectacular battle that delighted the Italian fans until the very last corner.
Ercoli was seventh ahead of Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) and Borja Garcia (#7 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang), who limited damage with the ninth place. Wilfried Boucenna (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) rounded out the top-10. Former Formula 1, DTM and WTCC driver Nicola Larini (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) finished a solid 11th in his NASCAR debut.
“Wow, it was great fun! We had great battles on track and the car is awesome to drive, in the dry and in the wet. It’s much more reactive and agile than I initially thought. I could have saved a couple of laps to go for a faster time for tomorrow but we’ll make up for it in the race,” said the Italian.
Dario Caso (#8 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) led the Challenger Trophy with the 13th place overall at the end of a great battle with Marconi Abreu (#47 RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) and Fabrizio Armetta (#41 The Club Motorsport Ford Mustang).
The ELITE 1 Division will be back in action on Sunday at 2:20 pm CET and all the races will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Facebook page.