Whelen Motorsports

Rocca Scores Emotional Win - ELITE 1 RACE 1

NWES • May 26, 2015

Posts Maiden Victory Starting From The Pole

Raceway Venray, Netherlands - May 23rd, 2015 - A determined and yet emotional Nicolò Rocca (#56 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) scored his maiden NASCAR in the inaugural NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race at Raceway Venray in Venray, Netherlands.

After posting his second consecutive pole position of 2015, the Italian surrendered the lead to Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) at the start. The pair got away from the pack, but the Belgian got collected by the spinning car of Hugo Bec (#8 RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) on lap, leading to the only yellow flag of the race on lap 24. Simone Monforte (#88 Euro Kart Racing Team Chevrolet Camaro) was also involved in the contact.

Rocca inherited the lead and had the better hand on Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) on restart, leading the remaining laps in dominant fashion to notch his first win in 25 starts, winning also the Junior "Jerome Sarran" Trophy.

"The car was amazing! I want to thank all the CAAL Racing team, they did an amazing job. From the beginning I felt well the car, I didn’t expect anything like that! It’s the perfect day," said Rocca, who will start from the pole tomorrow for the second race of the weekend thanks to the fastest lap in the race. "Pole position, fastest lap to start in front tomorrow and my first victory in NASCAR! It’s crazy! Tomorrow we will try to fight for the win again, but it will not be easy! Today I was lucky enough to avoid Kumpen’s car and I couldn’t battle with him to the checkered flag. He is very fast on this track, we can give a great race to the fans. I want to dedicate this victory to my mother, she gave me the strength to fight and win today."

Behind Rocca, Gabillon led a tight group that delighted the fans with a thrilling race: Romain Iannetta (#7 TFT Chevrolet SS) came from 12th on the grid to third with a series of bold moves in the last 20 laps, edging under the checkered flag Philipp Lietz (#67 GDL Racing Ford Mustang), who also took the Challenger Trophy classification, Bert Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) and Eddie Cheever III (#51 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS).

"We weren’t as fast as Nicolò and Anthony, but we scored good points today and this a good day for the #3 Tepac RDV Compétition Ford Mustang," said Gabillon. "We will keep working to improve for tomorrow and try to battle for the win."

Ander Vilarino (#2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS) came all the way from the back of the field to take the points for seventh, preserving his championship lead on Cheever by just one point, while Rocca moves to third, four lenghts behind the Spaniard.

Florian Renauer (#5 Dexwet Renauer Team Ford Mustang), Freddy Nordström (#44 GDL Racing Ford Mustang) and Wilfried Boucenna (#4 Dasi Racing Ford Mustang) completed the top-10 for the first ever NASCAR race at Raceway Venray.

The fourth round of the 2015 season will begin on Sunday at 5 PM CET and will be streamed live on fanschoice.tv. Live text updates will be available on Race Central Live.