Ander Vilarino 1st Poleman in Euro Racecar Nascar Touring Series

Ander Vilarino 1st Poleman in Euro Racecar Nascar Touring Series

08.04.2012: By winning the Elite pole positions, the Spanish Ander Vilarino get the best starting place of the 24-car grid of the Nogaro 200, the first meeting of the 2012

By winning the Elite pole positions, the Spanish Ander Vilarino get the best starting place of the 24-car grid of the Nogaro 200, the first meeting of the 2012 EURO-RACECAR, newly labeled NASCAR Touring Series.

ELITE QUALIFICATIONS (11 :00am, dry tarmac)

The first 15-minute qualifying session for Elite drivers has been intense and battled till the very last minutes. Successively, Anthony Garbarino (Ford Mustang #6 - Rapido Racing), Romain Thievin (Dodge Challenger #99 – Still Racing-Exotics Racing) and Ander Vilarino (Chevrolet Camaro #2 - TFT Banco Santander) reached the top of classification.

At the end the Spanish Vilarino finishes the 3.636 kilometers (2.259 miles) of the circuit Paul Armagnac at the average speed of 136.9 km/h (1’35”642) and catches the pole position. “It’s highly emotional for me to become the first ever poleman of the European NASCAR History, enjoyed the 2nd runner-up of the 2011 Championship.

Getting it at Nogaro which is the hometown of my team TFT – Banco Santander, it’s just so great. The qualifying was very hard because of the traffic on track and my Chevrolet Camaro #2 was very loose. It was also a bit wet and so it was difficult to reach the same times than yesterday.

I waited till the very last minute and my best lap is the last one. I could have increased my time of 4/10th of seconds but it was not the subject. I had to get the pole. What I have learned from last year is that the race victory is not the most important. The thing is to avoid crashes. Because at the end, the final award is so huge and we’re all fighting for it!”

Romain Thievin held the pole till the last minutes but will finally start from the first line tomorrow morning with a time of 1’35’’799 (av. Speed 136.6 km/h). He finishes second behind Vilarino for only 1/10th. ‘’The one who reaches the pole is the one who makes no mistake. I did some and it stands to reason, agreed the 1st runner-up of the 2011 season.

The track was getting better and better but 15 minutes is still a short time. Ander has been trapped in traffic during his last lap but one and me during my last one. It’s a pity because I improved my times in the 2 first sectors and it is frustrating to miss the first NASCAR pole with such a small time gap. Tomorrow, the race promises to be tight. So exciting!” On the second line will start Javier Villa. For his very first steps in EURO-RACECAR NASCAR Touring Series, the former GP2 and WTCC driver reaches an average speed of 136.5 km/h (1’35’’906).

“This first qualifying was totally new for me. There was a lot of traffic and I had to slow down during 3 yellow flags, explained the Spanish driver. I have only made one fast lap and I made a mistake because I could not warm up enough my tires. The pressure was not optimal and the car was very slippery. Being P3 is not a disaster because we can improve. It is my first participation to this championship and I have to take it step by step.”

Behind this trio, arrive the rookie Gregory Guilvert (135.8 km/h – 1’36’’422), Romain Fournillier (135.7 km/h – 1’36’’468), Dimitri Enjalbert (135.5 km/h – 1’36’636), the female driver Carole Perrin (135.1 km/h – 1’36’’856), Anthony Garbarino (135.0 km/h -1’36’’946), Vincent Gonneau (135.0 km/h – 1’36’960) and Antoine Lioen (134.8 km/h – 1’37’’130) for the top 10. The six first drivers are all in the same second.

OPEN QUALIFICATIONS (3 :15pm, dry tarmac with some rain drops)

In spite of the rain drops which felt few minutes before the beginning of the session, the track stayed dry during all the qualifying. Simon Escallier found a strategy which avoids him to be trapped in the traffic and led him to the pole with an average speed of 135.9 km/h (1’36’’313). It’s a good reward for this 23-year-old driver who just begins in 2012 his 2nd season in motorsports.

“I came from the back of the grid and it took some time to adjust, explained the driver of the Ford Mustang #6 (Rapido Racing Performance Engineering). It took me time to warm up my tires. To have the benefit of a clear track, I chose to come back in my pit. Then, once back on the track I had room to attack.

To get the first pole in Open is great; especially with testing this kind of car for the first time. The full atmosphere created by Team FJ gives me motivation and even more now that I am the first poleman”.

Vincent Gonneau (Chevrolet Camaro #15 – Gonneau Racing), 2nd, finishes 4/100th of seconds behind Escallier (135.8km/h – 1’36’’358). “When I saw my time, I was quite happy but after seeing the video I found I could have been 4/10th faster, said he. It is frustrating but nothing is done for the race. I’m at the front and that is the main thing because it was just the qualifying. Tomorrow everything should be alright.”

Martin Van Hove completes the top 3 with an average speed of 133.8 km/h (1’37’’817).”Very good qualifying, said the Belgian driver of the Dodge Challenger #64 (TFT). My goal was to reach a time lap of 1’37’’9 and I did 1’37’’8. So everything is good. Of course I am a bit disappointed because the car was really good and I could have done better. I have made two mistakes I should not have made.”

Jérôme Laurin (133,3 km/h / 1’38’’182) will start from the second line beside Martin Van Hove, ahead of Tanguy Ide (133,2 km/h / 1’38’’245), Gerald Cormon (133,1 km/h / 1’38’’352), Alain Grand (133,0 km/h / 1’38’’420), Joaquin Gabarron (132,1 km/h / 1’39’’066), Eric Quintal (131,9 km/h / 1’39’’220) and Franck Violas (131,9 km/h / 1’39’’273), last one of the ten first ones.

- Team FJ    WWW.RACECARSERIES.COM   also photos


08.04.2012 / MaP

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