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The first event of the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season at Valencia marked the debut of a brand new division based on regularity: the Elite Club. The division is entirely dedicated to newcomers willing to discover the impressive feeling of driving a NASCAR in a fun and friendly atmosphere as well as the spectacular and crowded European NASCAR events. The grand opening was a resounding success.
The first ever ELITE Club round went to Brazilian Alfredo Cardoso (#95 Dog Racing Ford Mustang), who mastered the 400hp V8 beast fielded by Dog Racing around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo to lap as close as possible to the target lap time set by the NWES organization during the three timed sessions.
“The feeling of driving a NASCAR on the Ricardo Tormo is fantastic! Our first contact with the car, the public, the Dog Racing team, the other drivers and the NWES organization enchanted us and demonstrates how much passionate and vibrant this Series is,” said enthusiastically the 33-year-old Belo Horizonte native after his first experience at the wheel of a NASCAR car. “Getting the first win in the Elite Club Division crowned perfect weekend, in which we managed to keep our lap times very consistent and close to the target set by the organization and at the end we were the closest to the ideal lap. I want to thank Dog Racing for the warm and professional welcome I received in their magnificent structure and the whole Euro NASCAR team for creating this new category. It will grow a lot in the next stages. I'm sure many new drivers will be happy to experience the wonderful feeling of accelerating a NASCAR !”
Showing great consistency, Cardoso dominated the first timed session on Thursday with just 5.20 seconds of difference time over his best 5 laps. Those seconds proved to be decisive in the overall outcome, because he led by almost 6 seconds on Yann Schar (#28 McDonald's RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) and 18 on Andreas Kuchelbacher (#5 Renauer Motorsports Ford Mustang). Cardoso improved his performance in Friday’s session with a 3.16 seconds difference time, bringing home the win ahead of Schar and Kuchelbacher, who posted an impressive 1.08 seconds difference time on Friday.
Eric Muet (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) and Luciano Carcheri (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) scored their first top-5 for Alex Caffi Motorsport, followed by Deo Alves (#66 DF1 Racing Team Chevrolet SS), Marcelo Silva (#14 Dog Racing Ford Mustang) – the Brazilian posted the best score of the weekend in session 2 with a 1.01 difference time – and Patrick Simon (#33 Mishumotors Chevrolet SS).
The ELITE Club Division will be back in action on July 27 at the legendary Hockenheimring in Germany with more and more drivers ready to live a fantastic NASCAR experience!
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard