Alon Day is now a 19-time winner in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and a five time winner at the Autodromo di Franciacorta. The CAAL Racing driver led the final race of the NASCAR GP Italy from flag to flag. The reigning NWES Champion also reinforced his lead in the ELITE 1 Division championship standings.
In the early stages of the ELITE 1 Round 4, Day had to fend off the attacks brought by Loris Hezemans. The Israeli defended the lead and then benefited from an intense battle between the Dutchman and former Formula One World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. Day took the checkered flag with a seven seconds advantage over Hezemans.
“It was much harder than yesterday because Loris was there the whole time,” said Day. “Luckily Villeneuve was very strong today, so they slowed each other. I saw that battle and I tried to open the gap as much as I could. Hezemans was catching up very fast as soon as he was alone. He would have probably caught me. I’m very happy to be in the Victory Lane again. I wanted to catch Vilarino in the points standings and I did it.”
Hezemans finished second by winning the heated duel with Villeneuve. In the middle of the race, the two made contact, sending body parts of the Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang to fly in the air. Hezemans resisted every attack and crossed the finish line ahead of Villeneuve, who grabbed his second consecutive NWES podium in Italy.
“I’m happy but also a little disappointed,” said Hezemans, who won the Junior Trophy classification. “The race was a little bit too exciting for me. In the beginning I made a mistake and over-drove the car. I damaged my left side. From then on I was just trying to survive and protect my position from Jacques.”
“With Loris we had a really intense battle,” said Villeneuve, who leaves Italy with two third-place finishes. “My car was really good in the corners. There was too much blocking going on. In the States he would have been in the wall in two corners. Apart from that, the racing was a lot of fun.”
Stienes Longin was fourth in his PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro ahead of Nicolo Rocca, who closed the top-5. Ander Vilarino finished sixth. The Spaniard, who won both races in the season opener at Valencia, had to focus on limiting damage in Italy after a contact on Saturday.
Francesco Sini put together a strong comeback in the ELITE 1 Round 4. The Italian started eleventh and managed to climb up to seventh. Lucas Lasserre also impressed with his climbing skills. The Mishumotors driver started 19th and carved his way up the ranks to finish eighth. Romain Iannetta and Alexander Graff rounded out the top-10.
“It was a competitive race,” said Lasserre, who won at the Italian track in 2018. “It was a great and clean race. The team worked really hard each day. In Franciacorta it’s difficult to overtake, but I was able to gain a lot of positions. I like this track, the Autodromo is fantastic. But I’m also a little bit frustrated, because I always want more. Now it’s important to understand why our qualifying and the first race were so tough for us.”
Ellen Lohr grabbed her first ever Challenger Trophy win at the Autodromo di Franciacorta. The only woman to win a DTM race started 25th and had to fight her way up and in the end the Dexwet-df1 Racing driver gained eleven positions to finish 14th.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will be back in action at the famous American Speedfest at Brands Hatch on June 1-2. All races will be streamed live at Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Facebook page and YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and a vast network of websites and social media pages from around the world.