Jacques Villeneuve left his mark on the first ELITE 1 on-track session at Raceway Venray by leading Practice for the NASCAR GP Netherlands. The former Indy 500 winner turned his best lap around the banked half-mile short track in 19.496 seconds in his #32 Go Fas Racing Chevrolet Camaro and completed a total of 57 laps during the allotted 60 minutes. 20 cars were separated by just one second at the end of the session.
Villeneuve bested Loris Hezemans by 0.195 seconds. The Dutchman, who was impressive on the New Smyrna oval during Speedweeks earlier this year, was the fastest Junior Trophy driver. Local hero Sebastiaan Bleekemolen – a rookie in the discipline of oval racing – surprised with the third quickest time. The gap between the driver of the #69 Ford Mustang and Hezemans was a mere 0.001 seconds.
ELITE 1 points leader Stienes Longin finished fourth just 0.207 seconds behind Villeneuve. Frederic Gabillon, who boasts six oval wins in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, rounded out the top-5 for RDV Competition. Martin Doubek was sixth ahead of 2018 ELITE 2 champion Ulysse Delsaux.
Oval racing veteran Thomas Ferrando ended up eighth, followed by his teammate Alon Day, who dropped from first to third in points after a difficult weekend in Most. Mauro Trione was fastest in the Challenger Trophy and closed the top-10 with a gap of 0.336 seconds from the leader.
Several drivers focused on their long run pace ahead of the 100-lap ELITE 1 Round 9. Salvador Tineo and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen completed more than the race distance by clocking 110 laps each and Kenku Miura put 104 laps under his belt.
Qualifying of the ELITE 1 Division will be streamed live at 12:15 pm on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Facebook page and YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and a vast network of websites and social media pages.