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Cheever takes maiden NASCAR win at Brands Hatch

Saturday, June 07 2014

Eddie Cheever III converted his pole into his maiden NASCAR Whelen Euro Series win at Brands Hatch, holding on from relentless pressure from Frederic Gabillon and Ander Vilarino in a disjointed 25 minute encounter.

The drivers return to do battle tomorrow during the American SpeedFest II.

Anthony Kumpen, joint-championship leader took fourth ahead of Garcia, with Christophe Bouchut rounding out the top six. Mathias Lauda just missed out on a top six finish in seventh.

Cheever III held his nerve on the rolling start to lead despite the close attentions of Frederic Gabillon, whose own mirrors were full of reigning double champion and three-time Brands Hatch winner Ander Vilarino.

Vilarino finally found a way past up the inside of Gabillon at Paddock Hill, but the safety car was scrambled before the end of the lap and because the period lasted to the chequered flag, second place was handed back to Gabillon.  

The experienced Christophe Bouchot was one of the early movers, at first losing out to Iannetta and Kumpen before passing Lauda for seventh and hounding Garcia for a spot in the top six.

Kumpen, after starting seventh, cruised up to the lead battle to make it four for the lead until Iannetta's good start was undone by spinning out into the Paddock Hill Gravel on lap 10. The spin drew the first of the safety car periods, bunching the big train of colourful NASCARs back together for a compelling final 10 minutes.

Garcia capitalised on the restart to briefly jump a napping Kumpen, while Cheever continued to keep the hassling Gabillon at bay. The safety was soon back out after Thievin spun into the barrier on Graham Hill and on the second restart, Vilarino made his vital move down the inside of Gabillon.

The race was soon neutralised once more when Nordstrom and Monforte connected at Druids, finishing the race behind the safety car to hand second back to Gabillon and Cheever III a more comfortable conclusion to his first win.

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series - top 10 classification

  1. Eddie Cheever III - 20 laps
  2. Frederic Gabillon - +0.486s
  3. Ander Vialrino - +0.621s
  4. Anthony Kumpen - +0.817s
  5. Borja Garcia - +0.909s
  6. Christophe Bouchut - +1.176s
  7. Mathias Lauda - +1.319s
  8. Markus Palttala - +1.714s
  9. Bas Leinders - +1.891s
  10. Nicolo Rocca - +2.357s

Click here for the full result.

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series return for their main race at the American SpeedFest tomorrow at 13.20. Tickets cost £25 on the gate with free entry for under 13s. Visit www.speedfest.co.uk.