Defending champion Eric HÃ©lary claimed victory at Tours in the second Elite Super Final race of the EURO-RACECAR NASCAR Touring Series weekend while Vincent Gonneau took the top honours in the Open division.
HÃ©lary had a tough time in the first final of the weekend but made amends on Sunday giving him valuable experience ahead of his upcoming American NASCAR appearance.
The race conditions were a lot more accustomed to that of a NASCAR race as unlike Saturday’s race the sun shone and the race started on a fully dry track.
As Carole Perrin lead the pack away for the start Romain Iannetta, Dimitiri Enjalbert and HÃ©lary fronted the chasing pack and by the twentieth lap the 2011 champion had moved up to second place behind Perrin who had strong pace in the early stages only to be brought back down due to a caution period. Enjalbert, Ander Vilarino and Romain Thevin fought for positions hard only to lose out with 20 laps remaining as Enjalbert and Thevin made contact.
The result of the contact gave HÃ©lary the perfect opportunity to break away and take victory on his return to the championship for the first time since the end of last season
“When I was testing alone, it was hard to imagine that I could enjoy the race so much,” he confessed. “Being in the tow helped and I was able to improve the relationship with my spotter. It was an interesting experience.”
Vilarino has shown pace throughout the previous three rounds of 2012 finished the race in second while Thevin and Javier Villa lost out with the Spaniard suffering from two DNF’s this weekend.
Third place was claimed by touring car ace Yvan Muller who was a guest racer for the weekend. The Frenchman worked his way up through the field grabbing the final podium place with just two laps remaining.
The race finished under a green/white chequered flag as Enjalbert, Emmanuel Brigand and Yann Zimmer got caught up in an incident in turn 2.
Wilfried Boucenna led the rest of the non-podium pack hoe and took a win in the Junior category whild StÃ©phane Jaggi took the honours in the Challenger Trophy.
The Open division final was all about one man – Vincent Gonneau who led all 50 laps of the race after opting out of racing in the Tours 100 race. “Perhaps I was helped,” he commented. “There was no point risking the car because I wanted to make sure of picking up big points in the Open championship, which remains my priority this season. But that's not the only explanation. I found a good line and an unlikely set-up that finally helped the rear suspension to work perfectly.”
Simon Escallier took second place after a spin while Tanguy Ide took the final podium place after a fierce battle with David Perisset. Yesterdays winner Frederic Johais struggled throughout and could only manage fifth place after a drive-through penalty for over-aggressive driving.