Vilarino and Ercoli take Euro NASCAR titles at Zolder
Spaniard Ander Vilarino and Italian Gianmarco Ercoli became NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champions today at Zolder. Vilarino took the title in Elite 1 Division, which is his third EuroNASCAR title, while Ercoli won his maiden title in Elite 2 Division.
Vilarino drove #2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS to seventh and sixth place in two Zolder races, but that was enough to score points for his third title in four years. Israeli driver Alon Day in #54 Caal Racing Chevrolet SS had a perfect weekend with two victories. He finished second in the overall standings but got the Junior “Jerome Sarran” Trophy and the Rookie Of The Year Award. Third placed driver of the season is Vilarino’s team-mate Romain Iannetta.
In last year of the season Alon Day start from the pole and quickly built a good margin on a trio of drivers fighting for the second position. Eddie Cheever III (#51 Caal Racing Toyota Camry) finished second ahead of Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) and Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Compétition Ford Mustang). In a tight battle, it was Cheever who had a better hand on the Belgian and the Frenchman. Vilarino held the fifth place for most of the race and ended up sixth under the checkered flag, behind Iannetta.
Gianmarco Ercoli (#9 Double T by MRT Nocentini Chevrolet Camaro) took the championship title with a dominant performance at Zolder. He won both races leading from the lights to the flag.
With four drivers separated by just eight points, the final race of Elite 2 Divison turned out to be a three-way battle between Ercoli, Salvador Tineo Arroyo (#51 Caal Racing Toyota Camry) and Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS). All three drivers set an outstanding pace, posting fastest lap after fastest lap, until Tineo Arroyo had to stop with a problem on his car on lap 10. Longin kept pushing hard but didn’t have enough time to fill the 0.9 seconds gap on Ercoli. Florian Renauer (#5 Dexwet Renauer Team Ford Mustang) finished third.
In the Elite 2 general classification Philipp Lietz (#67 GDL Racing Ford Mustang) ended second, ahead of Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang).