NWES • October 14, 2013
Le Mans, France - Ander Vilarino could have lived a nightmare sunday, but he managed to win his second consecutive title in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. The intense season-long duel between Anthony Gandon and Josh Burdon ended in the Frenchman’s favour with the TFT team winning both Divisions thank to him and his teammate Ander Vilarino.
Elite Race 2: Gabillon tries everything, but Vilarino wins second title
Ander Vilarino could have lived a nightmare sunday, but he managed to win his second consecutive title in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Sent spinning in the last lap of the decisive race at the Bugatti Circuit, the Spaniard reached a 4th place that was enough to preserve a 4-points adavantage over Frederic Gabillon. The Frenchman closed a perfect week-end with a his fourth win of the season.
The final race of the season, crucial for the title hunt, started under an autumn weather, with foggy conditions and temperatures around 5°C. Frédéric Gabillon (#5 Rapido Racing) did everything he needed to do by winning the last round, but all the attentions went to Ander Vilarino, who started the race with a 20-points advantage over his rival.
Vilarino started from pole position, but after hard fought battle at the first chicane Gabillon took the lead of the race. The safety car was deployed during the first lap to allow the medical crew and the marshals to take care of Didier Bec (#8 RDV Compétition), who crashed at the Chemin aux Boeufs. With 4 minutes to go, the marshals waved the red flag that ended the race following an accident on the front straight that involved Nathalie Maillet (#46 Racing Club Partner) and Stéphane Jaggi (#22 OverDrive-Moser Vernet).
Limited to 10 laps by the neutralizations, the race was led entirely by Gabillon, who did all he could by winning his second race of the weekend, preceding again the Spaniard Borja Garcia (#19 Autolix), penalized after the race and classified in fifteenth position for cutting the first chicane. The second place went then to Romain Iannetta (#1 RDV Compétition-Mc Donald's), who finished ahead of Yann Zimmer (#33 OverDrive), winner of the Junior category. Ander Vilarino finished fourth. The Spaniard raced carefully but could have lost the title when a contact with Fabrizio Armetta (#54 Caal Racing) sent him spinning, but he managed to preserve an advantage big enough to be crowned NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion for the second consecutive time.
Armetta completed the top-5 ahead of Willy Boucenna (#92 RDV Compétition), Anthony Garbarino (#3 TFT-Alpes Carrelages) and Vincent Gonneau (#15 Gonneau Racing), who won the Challenger category. Anthony Gandon (#7 TFT-E. Leclerc) and Guillaume Rousseau (#13 Bull Racing Team) rounded up the top-10.
Climbing on the podium of this last meeting of the year, Yann Zimmer conquered the Junior Trophy, now renamed Jerome Sarran Trophy in memory of his mentor, onwer of two Team Overdrive cars, who passed way on saturday at the age of 44. Sarran helped a number of young talents to emerge, including Romain Fournillier and Zimmer. The Swiss preceded the Frenchmen Anthony Garbarino and Anthony Gandon (# TFT-Leclerc).
Guillaume Rousseau topped the standings of the Challenger Trophy at the end of a very competitive season, ahead of Bruno Cosin (#55 Pole Position 81) and Stephane Jaggi (#22 OverDrive - Moser Vernet).
Open Race 2: Victory and title for Anthony Gandon
The intense season-long duel between Anthony Gandon and Josh Burdon ended in the Frenchman's favour with the TFT team winning both Divisions thank to him and his teammate Ander Vilarino. Josh Burdon was still the championship leader at the start, but a puncture ended his title chances.
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