The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series returns to action last week for the second round of the 2019 season, the NASCAR GP of Italy, at Autodromo di Franciacorta. In true Euro NASCAR fashion, the 2019 NASCAR GP of Italy proved to be an exciting one with plenty of Pure Racing action, as well as plenty of statistical updates to the record books. Today, we’re going to give you some of the most notable statistical changes in the Elite 1 class that have occurred in the 2019 NASCAR GP of Italy.
- Frédéric Gabillon’s participation at Franciacorta moves him up to 76 starts, just one start less than the current record of 77 starts set by Wilfried Boucenna. If Gabillon starts both races at Brands Hatch, he will officially become the most experienced man in the history of the Elite 1 class of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
- Ander Vilariño becomes just the eighth driver to start in at least 50 races in the Elite 1 class with his participation at Franciacorta. He’s currently sitting in eighth in the most starts list with 50 starts on his name.
- Thomas Ferrando and Gianmarco Ercoli becomes the eleventh and twelfth drivers to start in 40 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Elite 1 races, with their Race 2 participation at Franciacorta saw them making their 40th start in this series.
- Marc Goossens, now with 30 starts in 34 entries on his name after Race 2 at Franciacorta, becomes the seventeenth driver to start at least 30 races in the Elite 1 class. He’s currently sitting in seventeenth place in the all-time most starts ranking, having overtaken Marconi Abreu (28 starts in 28 entries) for 17th with his Race 1 start.
- If Martin Doubek and Lucas Lasserre started both races at Brands Hatch, they would become the 21st and 22nd drivers respectively to start in at least 25 Elite 1 class races.
- For Doubek, who currently sits in 23rd with 24 starts in 33 starts, he would have achieved it if he started the Sunday Elite 1 class race at Franciacorta, but his DNS would saw him increase his unwanted record of the most Did Not Starts in the Elite 1 class to 9.
- For Lasserre, while he technically already had more than 25 starts in the series thanks to his participation in 2009 and 2010, he only achieved 23 starts in the NASCAR-sanctioned era of NWES (2012 onwards) and with the scarcity of the records of the series for the pre-NASCAR years, it is highly unlikely that his pre-2012 starts would’ve been included in this list.
- Salvador Tineo Arroyo (20 starts in 20 entries) and Kenko Miura (20 starts in 21 entries) becomes the 35th and 36th driver respectively to start in at least 20 Elite 1 class races with their participation at this year’s NASCAR GP of Italy.
- Ulysse Delsaux, Mauro Trione, Alexander Graff, and Loris Hezemans becomes the latest drivers to have started in at least 15 Elite 1 class races in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. All of them currently have made 16 starts in 16 entries.
- Francesco Sini enters the top 50 list for the first time after his participation in the NASCAR GP of Italy. Sini, now ranked 49th with 14 starts in 14 entries, would displace Brazilian Victor Guerin (12 starts in 12 entries) from the top 50 list.
- Alex Sedgwick, currently ranked 51st in the all-time starts list with 13 starts in 14 entries, is now looking to enter the top 50 list providing the Brit starts both races at Brands Hatch. If that’s the case, he would displace Carlo Alberto Forte (13 starts in 13 entries) from the top 50 list.
- The sweep at Franciacorta meant that Alon Day has scored his 18th and 19th career victory in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Day cements his position as the No. 2 driver in the most wins list as he decreases the gap to Ander Vilariño’s record of 22 wins back to just 3 after Vilariño’s Valencia double had increased the gap to 5.
- CAAL Racing becomes the first team to break the 25-win barrier in Elite 1 as Day’s double victory in Franciacorta meant that the Italian outfit has now scored 26 wins, 19 of which was scored by Alon Day. Eddie Cheever III contributed 4 race wins for CAAL, while current PK Carsport driver Nicolò Rocca scored the remaining 3 of CAAL Racing’s Elite 1 victories.
- Alon Day’s double pole position meant that the Israeli has now scored his 21st and 22nd career pole position in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. This also meant that he has now decreased the gap to Ander Vilariño’s record of 24 pole positions back to just 2.
- CAAL Racing continues to increase their lead as the team that have scored the most Elite 1 pole positions in Elite 1 after Day’s double pole position meant that the Italian outfit has now scored 30 pole positions. Alon Day contributed 22 poles, while Nicolò Rocca and Eddie Cheever III scored 5 and 3 poles respectively for CAAL Racing.
- Alon Day’s double fastest lap in Franciacorta meant that the two-time champion has set his 18th and 19th fastest laps in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. He’s now within just 1 fastest lap from becoming the second driver to have set at least 20 fastest laps in Elite 1 and he is also now 5 fastest laps behind from Ander Vilariño’s record of 24 fastest laps.
- CAAL Racing has now set 23 fastest laps thanks to Alon Day’s double fastest lap in Franciacorta, 5 behind TFT Racing’s record of 28 fastest laps. Alon Day scored a grand total of 19 fastest laps for the Italian outfit, whilst Nicolò Rocca and Eddie Cheever III scored 2 each.
- Alon Day’s double victory meant that he has now scored his 29th and 30th NASCAR Whelen Euro Series podium finish. Thus, Day has become the third driver after Frédéric Gabillon (current record holder with 44 podiums) and Ander Vilariño (currently with 35 podiums) to score at least 30 podiums in the Elite 1 class.
- Day’s double victory also meant that CAAL Racing has overtook TFT Racing as the team with the most podium finishes in Elite 1. Day’s double win meant that CAAL now has 46 podiums in total, 1 more than TFT. Day scored 30 podiums for the team while Nicolò Rocca and Eddie Cheever scored 8 podiums each.
- Marc Goossens’ podium in Race 1 is his 11th career podium in the series, as well as Braxx’s 11th career podium in Elite 1. Goossens have scored all of Braxx Racing’s podium finishes in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series so far.
- The third-place finish in Race 1 meant that Jacques Villeneuve becomes the 33rd different driver to score a podium finish in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. He also becomes the first Canadian, the second North American driver after Bobby Labonte, first ex-Formula One driver, and first ex-Champ Car/IndyCar driver to score a podium finish in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
- Loris Hezemans’ Race 2 podium is his 8th career podium in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. He is now currently tied with Yann Zimmer, Eddie Cheever III, and Nicolò Rocca for the number of career podiums in the series.
- Jacques Villeneuve’s Race 2 podium finish meant that he joins Ander Vilariño, Romain Thievin, Gael Castelli, Yann Zimmer, Frédéric Gabillon, Bert Longin, and Thomas Ferrando as the drivers who scored their first two Elite 1 podium finishes in the same race week. He is also the first non-European driver to achieve this feat.
Photos are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard.