After a disappointing Friday for the No. 27 CAAL Racing team, Thomas Ferrando bounced back on Saturday to secure his first ever Elite 1 Pole Position in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series as the Frenchman becomes the 7th different Superpole winner in as many race weeks this season.
In a wet-dry Qualifying session for the Elite 1 drivers, Thomas Ferrando struggled initially in Qualifying before he set a lap time of 1:45.720 late in the session to put himself in the position to battle it out in Superpole. He would eventually claim the pole with a lap time of 1:44.104 on his final flying lap to secure his first Euro Series pole position start on any class since 2017.
“It’s really amazing,” said Ferrando to Mark Werrell in the post-Qualifying interview. “It was a really hard condition for this morning, but it was really exciting to go and see who’s choosing the rain tires and who’s not and it’s really exciting to go there and get the pole position. The team did a really good job on the car, so I’m really happy about this and I hope it’s going to be great for the race too.”
Frédéric Gabillon initially looked set for pole position, but ultimately had to settle for 2nd place as his time of 1:44.271 was bettered by 0.167 seconds by Ferrando. Marc Goossens continued his impressive comeback as he claims 3rd spot in the grid ahead of Stienes Longin, the fastest of the Top 5 drivers in the championship coming to Zolder.
Romain Iannetta completes the Top 5 ahead of championship leader Loris Hezemans, who leads the initial 10-minute Qualifying session at Zolder. Gianmarco Ercoli is in 7th ahead of Guillaume Deflandre, who made huge impressions in the track where he scored his first Euro Series career victory in 2017 as the young Belgian finished 2nd in Qualifying to secure his first Superpole appearance in the Elite 1 class in just his second Elite 1 race week.
Ulysse Delsaux and Alex Sedgwick rounds out the Top 10 ahead of Nicolò Rocca, whose struggles at Zolder continues as he barely made it to the Superpole before he eventually finished just outside of the Top 10 in Superpole. Alon Day completes the Superpole field in 12th place.
Dylan Derdaele misses out on the Superpole by 0.071 seconds as Sebastiaan Bleekemolen and Alexander Graff completes the Top 15 of the starting grid for Saturday’s race. Lucas Lasserre is only in 16th ahead of Henri Tuomaala, the fastest of the Challenger Trophy drivers.
Martin Doubek is in 18th as Ander Vilariño and Jacques Villeneuve both struggled to find pace in Qualifying. The former Euro Series champion and the former Formula One champion would eventually have to settle for 19th and 20th place on the grid respectively.
Francesco Sini also had a tough Qualifying session as he only qualifies in 21st place ahead of Mauro Trione, while Kenko Miura, Salvador Tineo Arroyo, and Dario Caso rounds out the grid for Saturday’s Elite 1 race.
|1.||Thomas Ferrando (27)||1:45.720||1:44.104|
|2.||Frédéric Gabillon (3)||1:45.812||1:44.271|
|3.||Marc Goossens (78)||1:45.639||1:44.447|
|4.||Stienes Longin (11)||1:45.929||1:45.109|
|5.||Romain Iannetta (88)||1:46.058||1:45.115|
|6.||Loris Hezemans (50)||1:45.269||1:45.140|
|7.||Gianmarco Ercoli (9)||1:46.184||1:45.147|
|8.||Guillaume Deflandre (99)||1:45.428||1:45.194|
|9.||Ulysse Delsaux (36)||1:46.204||1:45.368|
|10.||Alex Sedgwick (90)||1:45.762||1:45.756|
|11.||Nicolò Rocca (24)||1:46.219||1:45.903|
|12.||Alon Day (54)||1:45.945||1:46.164|
|13.||Dylan Derdaele (98)||1:46.290||–|
|14.||Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (70)||1:46.394||–|
|15.||Alexander Graff (77)||1:46.429||–|
|16.||Lucas Lasserre (33)||1:46.485||–|
|17.||Henri Tuomaala (23)||1:47.081||–|
|18.||Martin Doubek (7)||1:47.118||–|
|19.||Ander Vilariño (48)||1:47.232||–|
|20.||Jacques Villeneuve (32)||1:47.377||–|
|21.||Francesco Sini (12)||1:47.493||–|
|22.||Mauro Trione (31)||1:48.359||–|
|23.||Kenko Miura (2)||1:48.796||–|
|24.||Salvador Tineo Arroyo (46)||1:48.958||–|
|25.||Dario Caso (8)||1:49.116||–|
Disclaimer: Unless noted, all photos used in this article are courtesy of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard / Bart Dehaese.