Garcia dominates field to score win in season opener at home
Spaniard leads flag-to-flag and gives Alex Caffi Motorsports owner and former Formula 1 driver Alex Caffi first NASCAR victory.
The 2017 season is off to a good start for driver Borja Garcia and the Alex Caffi Motorsports team in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Garcia led from flag to flag and picked up his first NASCAR win in just his second start in the series and first for the new NASCAR team.
Garcia was unstoppable from the drop of the green flag in the Elite 1 inaugural race of the year at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Garcia in Victory Lane. “I’m really really happy! In the last two seasons, I have been so close to a win here with 2nd and 3rd place finishes. Finally, in my third season and here in my hometown of Valencia in front of all my family and friends, I win!. It’s fantastic and really a dream come true.
“Winning today gives us a lot of momentum for the rest of the year. Hopefully, we can stay in the top of the field through to the finals and have a shot at the title."
Defending ELITE 2 champion Stienes Longin finished second in his first race in series’ top division. The Belgian was happy with his runner-up finish.
“I didn’t expect to finish so well in the first race of the season,”said Longin. “We worked really hard during the offseason in preparing my move up to the ELITE 1 series and it clearly paid off.”
Christophe Bouchut finished a close third to complete the podium finishers.
Salvador Tineo Arroyo finished fourth with Wilfried Boucenna rounding out the top five.
Competing the top-10 finishers were Thomas Ferrando, Freddy Nordstrom, 2010 champion Lucas Lasserre, Gianmarco Ercoli and Patrick Simon.
Defending ELITE 1 champion Anthony Kumpen was collected in an incident on Lap 1 with Frederic Gabillon that forced the Belgian to retire while Gabillon was given a drive-through penalty and finished 15th.
NASCAR Next driver Alon Day ran as high as second place in the race before contact with Garcia on a restart punctured a tire forcing him to pit and dropped him out of contention for the win.
The second ELITE 1 race of the season will be held Sunday afternoon at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
One-on-one with NASCAR Whelen Euro CEO Jerome Galpin
Garcia completes the sweep on opening weekend