BLOIS, France – The visit to Tours Speedway by the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series this weekend was definitely a memorable one for Denis Dupont.
After winning his first NASCAR race yesterday, Dupont led a Belgian 1-2 in today’s ELITE 2 event in a close battle with the debutant Stienes Longin, son of ELITE 1 driver Bert Longin.
Dupont started from the pole, but slipped to third in first part of the race when Marsilio Canuti and Gianmarco Ercoli took advantage of lapped traffic to move to the front. The two Italians then got together in turn three on lap 13 and Ercoli had to retire while Canuti was penalized with a drive through. Dupont climbed to a lead he kept for the rest of the race. It wasn’t easy, though, since he had to resist the pressure Longin constantly put on him.
Just when the duo took the white flag for what promised to be a hot last lap, contact in turn one between Didier Bec and Erika Monforte ended the race as per NASCAR rulebook and Dupont could celebrate his back-to-back victories.
“The conditions were tricky, so it was important to keep calm in the last laps as well as in the first part of the race,” said Dupont. “I was always the first to approach the banking, the car has been fast throughout the whole weekend. I’m so happy now.”
“For me everything was new: I drove the car for the first time on Friday and it was my debut on an oval and in an international race. The rain made it even more difficult,” said Longin. “Yesterday I put too much stress in the race, I was really nervous, not easy in the car at all. Fourth place was not bad, but I didn’t have a good feeling. But after a good night sleep everything has been better, so I’m really happy”.
A very consistent Marçal Melo finished on the podium for the first time in his NASCAR career and won the Gentlemen Trophy classification. Philipp Lietz came in fourth ahead of Alex Fabiano.