There is no doubt that Renault Clio R3T has started its works programme in the World Rally Championship by tackling two of the most demanding events on the calendar. Sixth in Portugal, the car entered by Renault Sport Technologies this time finished in second place. However, the Sardinian round once again served up the ultimate reliability test for its car.
Leaders after the opening super special stage in Cagliari, Andrea Crugnola and Michele Ferrara produced a solid performance on Friday’s leg to retain the lead in the WRC 3 category. On the rough, rock-strewn roads, Clio R3T proved to be up to the challenge. On Saturday, however, on the long and treacherous Monte Lerno stage (42.22km), one of the many rocks littering the roads thwarted the plans of the Italian duo. With a damaged radiator, the Renault Sport crew had no option but to retire for the day.
After rejoining under Rally 2 rules on Sunday morning, they made it to the end of the rally to finish as runners-up. Despite only having contested two events, Andrea Crugnola now lies third in the WRC 3 championship standings.
“Things are improving in line with our plan,” noted Josep Ferrer-Trias, WRC 3 Programme Coordinator at Renault Sport Technologies. “We led the rally and ended up collecting a large haul of points. Clio R3T was reliable once again. Many cars had to rejoin under Rally 2 rules, which goes to show how demanding this event was. We are now in the top three in the Championship standings. In terms of performance, the crew made a real step forward and managed to find the right set-up. They showed their pace by claiming nine stage wins this weekend. The quicker, smoother roads on the next round, Rally Poland, will give us the chance to go for out-and-out performance.”
Based in Mikolajki, Rally Poland will be held on 2-5 July.
WRC 3 standings after Italy :
1. Quentin Gilbert 50 points
= Ole Christian Veiby 50
3. Andrea Crugnola 26
4. Teemu Suninen 25
5. Christian Riedemann 18
= Simone Tempestini 18
= Pierre-Louis Loubet 18…