The 2018 ELITE 2 season is in the books and Ulysse Delsaux (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry) is the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series ELITE 2 Division champion. The Frenchman finished third in the second Circuit Zolder Final, just behind his main opponent Florian Venturi (#32 Go Fas Racing Ford Mustang), who came just short in the championship battle but brought home the Rookie Cup. Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) won the race in dominant fashion in front of his home crowd.
Entering the last race of the season, Delsaux had keep a close eye on Venturi, who was only 8 points behind him. Venturi overtook early but only managed to finish second, so the RDV Competition driver could control his own destiny and bring home the first title of his career.
The ELITE 2 championship represents a unique achievement for Delsaux, who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome early in his life and found in racing a way to express himself. The 21-year-old grew incredibly both as a driver and as a young man in his five years in Euro NASCAR and bringing RDV Competition their very first NASCAR drivers title further adds to Ulysse’s excitement.
“It’s unbelievable”, said Delsaux after winning the 2018 ELITE 2 championship. “Before the race I was really stressed. I tried to control my emotions and focus just on the race like always in this amazing season. Many, many thanks to my team: they were incredible, they all did a great job. Also thanks to my family and fans who are always supporting me. I really don’t have the words right now!”
Dumarey, who put up a dominant performance at his hometrack, was able to lead the race flag-to-flag, winning his second race of the season. The Belgian had a technical issue in the first Final but managed to come back to the track and post the fastest lap of the race to start from the pole in Final 2. That proved to be key in today’s strong performance.
“Yesterday was disappointing because of the problem we had,” said the Belgian, who turned 32 two days ago. “But we came back and grabbed the win today. I’m really happy. This weekend we were the quickest and we wanted the win so bad because of the bad luck we had during the whole season. My wife and my little kid are watching at home and cheering for me. The team did a great job and we are happy to win here in front of our home crowd.”
Venturi, who finished second in the race, came up short in the championship by just 6 points. But the 17-year old Frenchman won the Rookie Cup and will get a chance to race in NASCAR in the USA. He defeated Nicholas Risitano (#8 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) and Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry), who completed the 2018 Rookie Cup podium.
Seventeenth under the checkered flag, Jerry De Weerdt (#78 Braxx Racing Ford Mustang) won the Legend Trophy for a record third consecutive time, setting a new record. There has never been a driver in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to win any title or trophy three times in a row. He beat Francesco Parli (#31 Race Art Technology / Blu Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro) and Arianna Casoli (#54 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry), who closed the Legend Trophy top-3.
Carmen Boix Gil (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang) won the close battle for the 2018 Lady Cup by finishing 21th, just ahead of Arianna Casoli. At the end of a tense, season-long battle, just 3 points separated the two contenders.
Coming from the very back of the field, Canadian driver Jean-François Dumoulin (#04 Spectra Premium – RDV Competition Toyota Camry) climbed up to 15th in his second ever NWES race as part of the first drivers exchange between two NASCAR International Series.
The ELITE 2 Division of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will return in 2019 and next season’s schedule will be revealed in the upcoming weeks. Delsaux will now head to Charlotte for the traditional prize giving ceremony at the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.