Deflandre Grabs Maiden Win
18-year-old Gives Racing Total Team First NWES Win
In the short span of one corner, Guillaume Deflandre (#46 Racing Total Chevrolet SS) turned what was a solid return to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series into a resounding win leading the ELITE 2 Final 2 under the checkered flag to win the first NWES race for himself and his German team Racing Total.
The 18-year-old Belgian started from the front row and crafted a perfect first corner dodging the cars of pole sitter Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS) and Paul Guiod (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) when the two got together in turn one. Deflandre then mastered the following restart and led the rest of the race to gram the first checkered flag of his career in his return to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series at wheel of the #46 Racing Total Chevrolet SS. The German team also got his first win after finishing on the podium in Hockenheim.
“It was a really good race for me today and I am really happy to grab my first win in NASCAR”, Deflandre said with a broad smile in Victory Lane. “I am also very happy to get the win for Racing Total and the first one for a German team in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. After I passed Guillaume Dumarey for the lead in the first corner it was kind of a quiet race for me. The team did a really good job and gave me a very good car. Of course I had little bit of luck in the first lap but I am glad that everything went well for me. Thanks to my parents for making this possible and also to all the mechanics who did a tremendous job.”
Felipe Rabello (#56 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) could not catch Deflandre and finished second after hitting troubles in the first Final on Saturday and ended up second in the Rookie Cup behind Dumarey. The Belgian put up a spectacular comeback to finish fifth behind Dario Caso – the Italian led the Legend Trophy classification – and Gil Linster (#44 CAAL Racing).
“It was good race after having so many problems yesterday”, said Rabello. “I was lucky at the to be able to avoid the crash right in front of me. Guillaume did not score any championship point since he joined the series just for the finals so I put no pressure on him. I just managed to keep my position and finish second. I am happy to be second in the Rookie Cup this year even though I wanted to win this title. Hopefully I will be back in 2018 competing in the ELITE 2 and fighting for the championship.”
With the ELITE 2 title already secured, Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) recovered from an early contact to finish 14th and finally celebrate with the Knauf Racing Team as the French squad also won the Teams Championship.
Japanese driver Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) ended up sixth, just ahead of Niki Petersen. Ulysse Delsaux (#3 Tepac RDV Compétition Toyota Camry) climbed up to eighth after being involved in a contact during the restart while Paul Guiod (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) came from the back of the grid to the ninth position under the checkered flag. Hugo Bec rounded out the Top-10.
Jerry de Weerdt (#78 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang) finished 12th right besting Mirco Schultis (#70 Mishumotors Chevrolet SS) and won his second Legend Trophy. Crossing the start\finish line 16th, Carmen Boix Girl (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) brought home the 2017 Lady Cup.
The ELITE 2 Division will be back next year with another exciting season. Stay tuned to discover all the news coming into the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series ELITE 2 season!
Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard