Leader of the France area Clio R3T European Trophy, Benoît Vaillant and co-driver Cédric Mondon were the quickest on SS1, despite the near-apocalyptic conditions. The exceptional weather led the rally organisers to cancel two stages over the weekend.
Having grabbed the lead before the start of the second day, Marvin Sorin and co-driver Karine Moinet held onto their advantage on Saturday’s leg and on Sunday morning, but were less than eleven seconds clear of Benoît Vaillant going into the final stage. In the end, the Nantes driver confirmed overall victory by winning the final stage by just a tenth of a second ! Following this final round of the Clio R3T European Trophy, Benoît Vaillant ends the season on top with 162 points, ahead of Marvin Sorin (105), but both men qualify for the 2016 Monte-Carlo finale.
“We had a perfect Tour de Corse,” commented a delighted Marvin Sorin after winning in Ajaccio. “It wasn’t easy to keep up the right pace throughout the event. I concentrated on staying top of the Trophy standings but it wasn’t easy to manage. We had already qualified for Monte-Carlo ; this win means we can look ahead to the finale and believe we have a chance of winning. Work now starts on preparing for this event.”
Competing in the International category, Eric Filippi enjoyed home advantage at the rally. Full of confidence on familiar roads, he took the lead on SS1. Armed with a comfortable lead, he secured the points for the top performer on Saturday by winning a fourth consecutive stage. On Sunday, Benoît Boulanger won the day’s opening test, but Eric Filippi nonetheless went on to secure victory ahead of him, with Yannick Wendling finishing third. Thanks to the overall win and the bonus points for the most stage wins, Filippi – alongside co-driver Francis Mazotti – moves joint top of the International category standings, level on points with Alberto Monnari (60) and ahead of Alain Pyrame (56), before the next round, the Rallye International du Valais.
“I’m very pleased to have made it to the end of the rally,” admitted the Corsican driver. “The weather conditions were very difficult but they made for a fantastic race. The victory is the icing on the cake. Given my competitive spirit, we are now considering going to Le Valais. It would be my first rally outside of Corsica. If that goes well, perhaps we can even begin to think about qualifying for Monte-Carlo !”
The winner of the Clio R3T European Trophy after next year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo will take part in six rounds of the WRC 3 World Rally Championship in a Clio R3T as the Renault Sport Technologies works driver.
Clio R3T European Trophy standings – France area (after discarding one result)
1. Benoît Vaillant 162 points
1. Marvin Sorin 105 115
3. Jean-Sébastien Vigion 69
4. William Pitot 33 …
Clio R3T European Trophy standings – International category
1. Alberto Monnari 60 points
1. Eric Filippi 60
3. Alain Pyrame 56
4. Benoît Boulanger 42
5. Zoltan Bessenyey 38
6. David Nafria 36
7. Yannick Wendling 30 …
Forthcoming Clio R3T European Trophy rallies :
9-11 October : Rally 2 Valli (Italy)
28-31 October : Rallye International du Valais (Alps/International)
14-15 November : Rallye Communidad de Madrid (Iberia)
Finale : 2016 Rallye Monte-Carlo