NWES • June 27, 2016
Regular Season Winds Down With Four Exciting Oval Races
Daytona Beach, FLA - There has been plenty of action and drama in Tours Speedway’s four-year history, from Ben Kennedy’s win in 2012 to Mathias Lauda’s triumph in the rain in 2014 and this season will make no exception. Anything can and will happen this weekend at the first European purpose-built NASCAR oval located in downtown Tours, in the heart of France. The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series regular season will wind down with four 75-lap nail-biting races on the 0.4-mile short track with a tight battle for the points lead in both divisions heading into the summer break.
After winning three of the first six races of the season, Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) enters the Tours Speedway weekend with a mere 6-point advantage in the ELITE 1 Division over Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Compétition Ford Mustang), who finished second in four occasions this year and, having won on oval at Raceway Venray, will look at Tours to return to the top step of the podium in France. Borja Garcia (#1 SPV Racing Ford Mustang) follows closely, 14 points behind the leader, while Brands Hatch winner Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) sits just 12 lengths further back in fourth place.
“I hope to be as fast as I was in Tours two years ago and in Venray this year. Qualifying will be fundamental once again,” said Garcia, who won the pole position at Raceway Venray in May and earned two podium finishes in the Dutch event. “Tours requires a particular driving style, you have to have a lot of traction exiting the corners and you can’t afford any mistake. It is really demanding for the drivers.”
Gianmarco Ercoli (#9 Double-T by Nocentini Ford Mustang), who was impressive in his oval debut at Tours Speedway back in 2014 and won last year at the end of a spectacular duel with Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang), is confident he can regain the for that almost brought him to Victory Lane in Venray.
“Tours Speedway is kind of my first love. It was my first oval and I won there one a key race on the way to the ELITE 2 title last year. Winning there, in front of such passionate fans, is something special,” said the Italian. “Brands Hatch wasn’t perfect for us and I really hope we can regain our pace and send a message: we can battle for the win!”
In the ELITE 2 Division, Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) will return to the track where he made his NASCAR debut two years ago and won his first race in 2015. “It is always special to go back to Tours Speedway. Races are always great there and I have so many good memories. I definitely look forward to score as many points I can to put myself in the best possible position for the playoffs,” concluded the Belgian.
The Tours Speedway weekend will begin on Friday, June 24 at 2 pm CET with two practice session, while qualifying will go green on Saturday, June 25 at 10 am CET. All the action will be stramed live on Fanschoice.tv (http://bit.ly/nweslive) and live updates will be available on the Race Central Live Page (http://bit.ly/nwes16x04rcl) on NASCAR Home Tracks.
Tours Speedway Schedule
Friday June 24
14:00-14:45 ELITE 1 - Practice
14:50-15:35 ELITE 2 - Practice
17:00-17:45 ELITE 1 - Final Practice
17:50-18:35 ELITE 2 - Final Practice
Saturday June 25
10:00-10:50 ELITE 1 - Qualifying
11:00-11:50 ELITE 2 - Qualifying
14:15 ELITE 1 "KNAUF 75" (75 laps)
18:30 ELITE 2 "WHELEN 75" (75 laps)
Sunday June 26
10:30 ELITE 2 "TOURS EVENEMENTS 75" (75 laps)
15:00 ELITE 1 "MICHELIN 75" (75 laps)
|PLACE:||Tours Speedway, France|
|DATE:||June 25-26, 2016|
|TRACK LAYOUT:||0.650 km (.403 mi) 9-degrees/10.5-degrees Banked Oval|
|2015 WINNERS:||ELITE 1: Nicolo Rocca / Ander Vilarino ELITE 2: Stienes Longin / Gianmarco Ercoli|
|TRACK CONTACT:||Website: http://www.tours-speedway.com/Email: email@example.com Tel: +33 188.8.131.52.70|
|EVENT HASHTAG:||#NWES #toursspeedway|
|NASCAR CONTACT:||Anne Galpin, +33 6 76 04 11 89, firstname.lastname@example.org PO: Gian Luca Guiglia +39 393 817 95 46, email@example.com|
TOURS SPEEDWAY RACE NOTES
Leaders: Halfway through the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season, five different drivers led at least one lap in the ELITE 1 Division: Kumpen leads with 84, followed by Ercoli (57), Day (47), Gabillon (10) and Garcia (8). Longin monopolized the ELITE 2 Division with 180 laps led against Arroyo’s 36, while the only Geltrude led 1 lap. Stienes Longin is also the driver who led the most kilometers across the two divisions with 271.12.
Consistency kings: Considering both the ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 Division, four drivers never finished outside the top-5 in the first half of the 2016 season. Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) won once and finished second four times, while Borja Garcia (#1 SPV Racing Ford Mustang) has four podium finishes. In the ELITE 2 Division Stienes Longin is the obvious leader with five wins and one second place, but Tineo Arroyo has never finished worse than fifth.
Trophies: Entering the Tours Speedway weekend, Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) leads the Junior “Jerome Sarran” Trophy over Wilfried Boucenna (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) by 16 points and Gianmarco Ercoli (#9 Double-T by Nocentini Ford Mustang) by 24. Marconi De Abreu (#47 Brazil Team Ford Mustang) leads a close three-way battle for the Challenger Trophy by 2 points over Dario Caso (#8 Vict Motorsport Ford Mustang) and 9 over Jerry De Weerdt (#78 Brass Racing Ford Mustang). Riccardo Geltrude (#7 Double-T by Nocentini Ford Mustang) sits comfortably on top of the Rookie Cup classification with a 29-point advantage on Marconi De Abreu (#47 Brazil Team Ford Mustang), who is closely followed by Paul Guiod (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang). Jerry De Weerdt (#78 Brass Racing Ford Mustang), Didier Bec (#31 McDonald's RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) and Simone Laureti (#9 Double-T by Nocentini Ford Mustang) are separated by a mere 4 points in the Legend Trophy, while Arianna Casoli (#8 Vict Motorsport Ford Mustang) firmly leads the Lady Cup su Erika Monforte (#6 Double-T by Nocentini Ford Mustang).
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