WHELEN EURO ELITE 1: Kumpen Retakes The Lead

After surrendering the points lead by one lenght to Frederic Gabillon on Sunday, Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) retook it today by winning his second race of the season, the fourth of his NASCAR career, at Raceway Venray in the context of the second edition of the Autospeedway American Style.

The 2014 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion defended the lead in a late restart, fending off the attacks brought by Borja Garcia (#1 SPV Racing Ford Mustang) and Barry Maessen (#14 Team Raceway Venray Chevrolet SS), who took advantage of the double-file restart to climb on the podium in his NWES debut with his Raceway Venray team to lead the Challenger Trophy.

Kumpen started from the pole and led all laps until lap 19, when a spin by Willy Gruber (#26 Dexwet Renauer Team Ford Mustang) triggered a multi-car crash between turn 1 and 2. All the drivers left the thier cars unscathed and some of them – Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) and Wilfried Boucenna (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) – rejoined the race and teams immediately started working on their cars for the ELITE 2 race, but track cleaning procedures required a red flag, forcing race control to shorten the race from 60 to 46 laps.

The restart came on lap 34 with leader Kumpen choosing the outside and Gianmarco Ercoli (#9 Double-T by Nocentini Ford Mustang) in second place on the inside. The reigning ELITE 2 Champion, who put up a splendid performance on Sunday, ruined only by powersteering problem, made a move on the inside and he and Kumpen got together exiting turn two. Ercoli spun but managed to keep the fourth position in the ensuing and final restart to lead the Junior “Jerome Sarran" Trophy.

Kumpen beat Garcia and Maessen to the line by .375 seconds, while Sunday’s winner Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Compétition Ford Mustang) came in fifth. The driver of the #24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS leaves Venray with an 8-point margin on Garcia and 11 on Gabillon.

Italian rookie Riccardo Geltrude (#7 Double-T by Nocentini Ford Mustang) offered another solid performance in his oval racing debut, edging a charging Nicolò Rocca (#56 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) and Marc Goossens (#90 Brass Racing Ford Mustang), who came back from the 18th place on the grid to score his second NWES top-10. Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) and Florian Renauer (#5 Dexwet Renauer Team Ford Mustang) completed the top-10.

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series ELITE 1 Division will return to action on June 11-12 with the fourth edition of the Brands Hatch American Speedfest.