Whelen Motorsports

Title Contenders Speak

NWES • October 06, 2014

Five candidates for the European NASCAR Championship share their thoughts

Daytona Beach, Florida - One event and Two races to go, five contenders, 38 points points separating them and 192 points potentially going to the driver that would win both races leading the most laps, plus a changing weather forecast. Everything will be on the line this weekend at the Circuit Bugatti, in France, for the traditional Le Mans Finals. The possible scenarios for this thrilling season finale are countless, and all of the five contenders will have to balance strategy and will to win in an arduous exercise that will elect the European NASCAR Champion.

How will they approach the Finals? Let’s hear from them:

Ander Vilarino (#2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS) P1 - 491 Points (4 Wins)

"This year I will have to use a different approach. In the two seasons as a NASCAR championship I had to go there and control the situation, I had no need to push to the limit. I started from the pole both in 2012 and 2013 but this year will it will be something similar to the Homestead race in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In my mind it is very clear what I have to do if someone else will win one or two races, but against Kumpen we just have to finish in front of him. I will go for the win in both races, then if a strategic opportunity will present itself, we’ll take it. But we are going for the win."

Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) - P2 - 480 Points (0 Wins)

"My feeling entering the Finals is pretty good. In Magione I finished second and fifth in the two races, but if you go a little deeper you’ll see we had the fastest car on track, we had a very fast pace. It gives me a lot of confidence going to Le Mans. My feeling with the car is very good and it improved a lot since the start of the season. It will be important to take the right decision, especially if the weather will be variable and I believe that my experience in endurance racing will help me a lot. I never drove the car in the rain, but I’m confident that we as a team are ready and well prepared. Winning the first race will be fundamental and I will go on the attack. It’s going to be really close!"

Borja Garcia (#1 Ford Autolix Competition Ford Mustang) - P3 - 470 Points (1 Win)

"We will see this week what the weather forecast is for the Finals because a changing weather can be another big challenge. I will do my best to win both races and then see what the others did. I don’t feel too much pressure because this is my first year in this Series and in my mind I will go for the title in 2015. My car performed very well on a fast track like the Nurburgring and I did well last year in Le Mans, so I think we are in a good position. The weather can be a factor especially in Qualifying."

Frederic Gabillon (#12 Still Racing Chevrolet Camaro) - P4 - 464 Points (1 Win)

"I hope to repeat last year’s weekend. Qualifying will be absolutely important. I hope to start from the front row and to win again both races and I know that if do it I will be the Champion. It will be more difficult than last year because the competition is incredibly tough, but I have to win on Saturday and Sunday, lead the most laps and see. It is racing and everything can always happen but we are prepared. You have to race like there’s nothing on the line, resist the pressure and don’t think about the championship, just win and do the math at the end of the weekend"

Eddie Cheever III (#51 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) - P5 - 453 Points (2 Wins)

"In Magione we were ultra competitive all weekend long and the team gave me a fantastic car that allowed me to close the gap a little bit. It was really hard, but to win in front of so many of my fans and dedicate such an important success to my mother on her birthday was something special. In Le Mans I will attack right from the first session, I’m still in contention and I will try until the end. It will be difficult and we will need a little bit of luck, but I’ll do all I can to be ready if I’ll be presented with the right occasion."