WARNETON SPEEDWAY, Belgium — Brit Gary Ellis claimed the 2008 CAMSO V8 title on Sunday 12 October after a fantastic weekend saw him secure three podium finishes, including two wins.
Sunshine streamed on the Belgian track for the last meeting of the 2008 season; with perfect conditions, the CAMSO V8 races were no less than action-packed. Race one saw American Andy Andrews on pole with Jos Jansen alongside; Vincent Lehouck and Kelvin Hassell filled the second row. As the green flag was waved, Andrews managed to get his nose in front of Jansen for turn one, whilst Hassell squeezed into third place ahead of Lehouck. Behind, Frenchman Jean Vasseur took fifth place followed by the Netherland’s Wim Moonen and Belgium’s Xavier Vandermeersch.
Having managed to pull out a gap from the following pack, Andrews and Jansen came up to lap rookie Alexis Verquin; struggling to get around the outside, Hassell managed to reel in the leading pair, moving to the outside to pass Jansen for second place. With Vasseur behind, Hassell passed Andrews to take the lead with Vasseur taking second place.
Ellis meanwhile had worked his way through from the back of the grid to third place before passing Vasseur for second position. As the race neared its end, Ellis moved to the outside of Hassell, attempting to claw around the outside of the #88.
With three laps to go, Ellis completed the manvouver, nosing his way into the lead to take the chequered flag. Hassell finished in second place with Vasseur in third. Tony Roots came home in fourth place with Vandermeersch finishing fifth.
The second heat saw Jansen on pole with Andrews on the outside. Belgian rookie Xavier Verquin, father of Alexis, filled the second row with Lehouck and Anton Gonnissen on row three.
Jansen took the lead at the start before a caution was called as Vasseur spun on the exit of turn three. At the restart Jansen sped off the line to take a good lead; Andrews held on to second place whilst Gonnissen put the pressure on X. Verquin for third place. After passing the rookie, Gonnissen made short work of Andrews to claim second place.
Ellis had improved his position by six places, putting him in fourth place behind Vandermeersch, before the Brit charged around the outside and into third place. Fellow Englishman Roots also passed Vandermeersch, demoting him to fifth.
The #95 of Ellis was soon gaining on Gonnissen, putting pressure on the Raptor Racing driver for second place. As the leading pack came up to lap backmarkers, Ellis made his move and secured the second step on the podium. Jansen took the win after leading from pole to podium. Roots crossed the line in third place having passed Gonnissen in the closing moments of the race.
Father and son duo Alexis and Xavier Verquin took the front row for the final race of the season. As the V8s piled into the first corner, X. Verquin drove around the outside and steamed into the lead. Behind, A. Verquin was swallowed by the pack as Lehouck and Vandermeersch stormed through for second and third position before a caution was called as A. Verquin, Jansen and Hassell collided in turn one. The meeting was cut short for all three drivers as damage forced them into retirement.
At the restart, Vandermeersch managed to sprint down the inside of Lehouck for second place. As the race neared its halfway point, Vandermeersch, struggling with tyres, slipped down the order. Roots moved into third place with Vasseur in fourth and Moonen in fifth.
Ellis, looking for a win to top off the season, moved to the outside of X. Verquin. The pair battled for the lead for two laps before Ellis managed to secure first place. Roots was close behind, also passing the Belgian rookie to take second place before the chequered flag was waved.
Ellis has had a fantastic season, notching up a 35-point lead from Roots to take the championship win. Moonen finished third in the championship with Vasseur improving his position to fourth after a good points-scoring meeting. Hassell finished fifth with Vandermeersch in sixth.