Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) is back! The Frenchman took the first pole of his 2017 season to open the Semi Finals weekend at the Autodromo di Franciacorta, Italy and reassert his title ambition in the ELITE 1 Division, while his teammate Ulysse Delsaux grabbed his second career pole in the ELITE 2 Division.
With light rain hitting the Italian track, Gabillon lapped the 2.519 kilometers of the Autodromo in 1'23.799 beating Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) by a mere .037 seconds in an spectacular Superpole session, conquering his sixth career pole, the first since June 2016.
Gabillon said: “This was my first pole position this season so I’m very happy. My car was not so fast in the dry so it was good for me and my team that it started to rain this morning. Hopefully it stays wet in the afternoon. Many thanks to my team for doing such a great job. In the beginning of the session I managed to get used to the tyres and testet which brake balance I have to use. For the superpole the car was very good. I really hope for the same weather conditions this afternoon because I think that the others drivers are faster than me when it’s dry. I want to win the races and we will see what happens.”
Freddy Nordstrom (#44 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) nailed a blistering 1'24.068 to take third ahead of 2010 Champion Lucas Lasserre (#33 Mishumotors Chevrolet SS) and Marc Goossens (#90 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang), who rounded out the top-5. Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) led the Junior Trophy in sixth ahead of his teammate Wilfried Boucenna (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang), while Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) will have to climb from eighth after a troubled qualifying session. Claudio Giudice (#4 Scuderia Giudici Ford Mustang) grabbed his first career top-10 besting Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) and Borja Garcia (#7 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang), who will have a difficult task ahead of him to defend his points lead. Driver/Owner Fabrizio Armetta (#41 The Club Motorsport Ford Mustang) led the Challenger Trophy bringing his team in Superpole for the first time.
Nicola Larini missed the Superpole by just 2 tenths of a second in his NASCAR debut.
Ulysse Delsaux (#3 Tepac RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) snatched his second ELITE 2 pole of the season by a mere .008 seconds on Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) as many title contenders found themselves way back in the field. Delsaux clocked a 1'25.669 lap in the wet.
“It was a great session because it was raining. When I was on track I was thinking about my idol Ayrton Senna who untouchable in the rain. For me it was a perfect qualifying. I have to thank my team for the effort they have put in my car. We will see what happens in the race,” said Delsaux. “My goal is to win the races here at Autodromo di Franciacorta and with the double points it’s also a great opportunity to close the gap from the championship leader.”
Dario Caso (#8 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) brought his #8 Mustang up to third to lead the Legend Trophy, while Denny Zardo (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) was fourth in his NASCAR debut and led the Rookie Cup ahead of Nicki Petersen (#33 Mishumotors Chevrolet SS), who closed the top-5 in his first race for Mishumotors ahead of Gil Linster (#44 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS).
Renzo Calcinati (#12 MRT by Nocentini Ford Mustang), Claudio Giudice (#4 Scuderia Giudici Ford Mustang), Paul Guiod (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) and Marconi Abreu (#47 RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) rounded out the top-10 ahead of Sam Taheri (#77 Dog Racing Chevrolet SS) and Mirco Schultis (#70 Mishumotors Chevrolet SS).
Title contenders Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS), Maciej Dreszer (#66 DF1 Racing Team Chevrolet SS) and Felipe Rabello (#56 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) will start respectively 16th, 18th and 21st.
The ELITE 1 Semi Final 1 will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Facebook page from 1:20 pm CET (7:20 am ET).