With the first European Challengers title awarded in Clio Cup and new performances highlighting the benchmark status in their categories for Clio Rally4 and Clio Rally5, the Clio racing cars made another strong impression throughout Europe and in South America over the weekend!
Clio Cup Europe
The penultimate round of the Clio Cup Europe had its share of surprises at Circuit Paul Ricard.
On Saturday night, Nicolas Milan took advantage of the collisions between David Pouget and Anthony Jurado to score his third consecutive win. The next day, Marc Guillot made the most of the duel between his teammates to take the win in the final corners of the race.
Nicolas Milan reclaimed the lead in the general classification and is now nine points ahead of David Pouget while Marc Guillot remains in contention. Despite Alexandre Albouy’s pair of wins, Kévin Jimenez clinched the crown in the Challengers Cup, whilst the Gentlemen Drivers Cup is more undecided than ever after Laurent Dziadus and Lionel Viguier’s successes.
Kévin Jimenez wasn’t the only driver to be crowned this weekend though as Laurent Dziadus won the Group B’s Gentlemen Drivers Cup ahead of the final round of this calendar in Barcelona.
More information here.
Next round: Autodromo Nazionale Monza (29-31 October)
The new leader of the FIA ERC3 after winning the Azores Rally, Jean-Baptiste Franceschi once again demonstrated the full potential of Clio Rally4 on the Rally Serras de Fafe e Felgueiras.
On the Portuguese gravel stages, the Toksport WRT driver took the lead on SS2 with the first of his four fastest times on leg one, held in dreadful conditions. Heading to the final stage of the day, the Frenchman had a 38.1s lead but he lost more than two minutes due to an electrical issue.
Despite being more than a minute and a half away from the leader, Jean-Baptiste Franceschi and Clio Rally4 closed the gap with five fastest times out of the eight timed sectors to claw 36.1s back on the final day. The French driver was also the best FIA ERC3 performer with nine stages wins out of 16 and eventually finished second.
With his fifth consecutive podium, Jean-Baptiste Franceschi remains atop the FIA ERC3 general classification. The Frenchman and his co-driver Anthony Gorguilo will defend their lead in this category and FIA ERC3 Junior in Hungary at the end of the month.
More information here.
Next round: Rally Hungary (22-24 October)
Clio Rally4 is enjoying a strong string of successes across Europe. Fabrice Martin & Julie Amblard and Boris Carminati & Brice Brun won the Rallye de l’Alsace Bossue and the Rallye du Vin des Corbières respectively while finishing sixth and fifth overall in these two rounds of the French Rally Cup.
On these same rallies, Clio Rally5 also excelled with a class victory for Jérôme Janny & Clément Gutierrez in Alsace and a hat-trick led by Dominique Chibaudel & Philippe Coquard in Occitania. Sylvain Fouteret and Xavier Lefebvre also won in their category on the Rallye Charlemagne.
In Italy, Clio Rally4 enjoyed a podium finish in the R2C class with Daniele Bestetti & Mattia Nicastri on Rally del Rubinetto whilst Clio Rally5 dominated the R1 field on Rally Terra Sarda with the duo of Giovanni and Andrea Di Luigi. In Spain, Alejandro Mauro and Dani Muntadas finished second overall and first in the two-wheel-drive category on the Ral.lisprint Vilanova d’Escornalbou.
Meanwhile, both models set the pace in their respective classes on the roads of Rally Pačejov (Czech Republic), Clio Rally4 with Jiří Rybák & Jiří Hlávka and Clio Rally5 with Filip Ocelka & Jaroslav Blažek.
Lastly, Clio Rally5 continued its expansion in South America with six cars entered on the Rally Bicentenario Cuenca in Ecuador. For the big return of the event to the city of Cuenca, the crews were in the spotlight with three cars in the overall ten, and a lockout of the two-wheel-drive podium with Diego Esteban Serrano & Juan Felipe Serrano, Jorge Luis Mejia Luzuriaga & Juan Francisco Sarmiento Andrade and Alejandro Daniel Martínez Feijóo & Marlon Patricio Bravo Ramirez.
This week, the inaugural Clio Trophy France Terre season will conclude on the Rallye Terre des Cardabelles. Quentin Ribaud, who won the Junior category, will be aiming for the overall title against Jean-Paul Monnin and John Laroche but ten crews will be aiming for glory in Aveyron.
The Clio Trophy Italia will also conclude its season Sunday on the Rally 2 Valli. Davide Nicelli has already won the crown, but the battle for the other top positions will be intense. Meanwhile, the Rallye de Wallonie will host the penultimate meeting of the Clio Trophy Belgium, where Gilles Pyck could take his first step towards the title against his closest rivals Benoît Verlinde and Corentin Dozot.
The Clio RXs of the French Junior FFSA Rallycross Championship will be in action at Dreux, where the battle between David Bouet, Arthur Le Boudouil and Tom le Jossec is tipped to intensify before the season finale at Faleyras.
Photos 1, 2 et 3: DPPI
Photo 4: Sobre Ruedas