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Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) delivered the second win of the season for the #24 PK Carsport team in the ELITE 1 Round 5 at Raceway Venray at the end of a long and exciting battle for the lead with Borja Garcia (#7 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang).
The two-time NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion, who led flag to flag in his ninth career win and the third at Venray, edged the Spaniard by just .176 seconds under the checkered flag after fending off the countless attacks Garcia brought during the 50-lap race. The situation will be reversed on Sunday, when Garcia will start from the pole alongside Kumpen thanks to the fastest lap of the race.
On winning the race, Kumpen said, “We started on the pole, led every lap and won the race! It’s what we came here to do so how can I be any happier! The only thing we couldn’t do today was run the fastest lap time of the race. It would have been nice to start on pole for tomorrow too, but that’s okay. We’ll still start on the front row, which is what we need to do to stay in the hunt for the championship. We may make a few small adjustments for tomorrow.”
On the track surface and Borja Garcia’s challenges, Kumpen said, “The high line is always fast here and the new track surface allows a driver to race in the middle of the track. Borja tried to pass me a few times down low but I was able to maintain my position the entire race.”
“Having a good spotter at an oval track is so important, and I have a great spotter! I trust him 100%. We have a great relationship and great communication. If he says, “I’m clear”, i know I’m clear!” concluded Kumpen
On his second place finish, Garcia said, “It was a tough race and it’s really difficult to pass here. I tried to pass Anthony a bunch of times. I made it to his door but could never complete the pass. What’s important is that I finished second and had the fastest lap of the race. Tomorrow I’ll start on the pole and that’s really important for the championship standings.”
The ELITE 1 pack offered the fans a spectacular show, with side-by-side battles throughout the races. Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) came home third after overtaking his teammate Salvador Tineo Arroyo (#56 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) in the final ten laps. The Spaniard won the Junior Trophy ahead of Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang), who closed the top-5.
Marconi De Abreu (#47 RDV Competition Toyota Camry) beat Jerry De Weerdt (#78 Brass Racing Ford Mustang) for the Challenger Trophy in sixth, while Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) and Sam Taheri (#77 Dog Racing Chevrolet SS) rounded out the top-10.
An early contact that led to the first caution of the race took out of contention both Frederic Gabillon (#3 RDV Competition Toyota Camry) and Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS), who were battling for second place when they got together.
The ELITE 1 Division will be back on track on Sunday with the ELITE 1 Round 6 and the race will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Facebook page at 14:50 CET.