Renault Clio R3T
Renault Clio R3T
Renault Clio R3T

Following their WRC 3 category win at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland, Andrea Crugnola and Michele Ferrara return to action this weekend. The Tour de Corse, back on the World Rally Championship calendar for the first time since 2008, will provide the Team Renault Sport Technologies’ Clio R3T with the chance to compete in front of its supporters. The crew representing the French manufacturer will above all have an opportunity to move closer to securing the WRC 3 title. The Tour de Corse also features in the Clio R3T European Trophy, both as an international round and the final event of the season in the France area.

A sizeable challenge and a highly competitive line-up

Andrea Crugnola and Michele Ferrara prevailed in Germany last month to move back into contention in the race for the WRC 3 title. After three rounds on gravel, they demonstrated the ability of the Clio R3T to adapt to any surface by dominating on tarmac in Germany. Next up for the Team Renault Sport Technologies is the Tour de Course, the French round of the calendar. Third in the championship standings, the Crugnola/Ferrara crew will be gunning for a maximum 25-point haul in order to keep their pursuit of the title at the end of the season on track.

“We are progressing as planned,” commented Sylvain Alanore, Team Manager, Renault Sport Technologies. “After winning in Germany, we are in prime position to challenge for the runner-up spot in the WRC 3. But we can still go for the title, if circumstances go our way. For that to happen, in Corsica we need to confirm the result we had last time out.”

Andrea Crugnola has prepared in detail for this event, in order to head into the French round of the World Rally Championship in the best possible shape. “Picking up where he left off in Rallye Deutschland, Andrea drove the Clio R3T as part of some development testing sessions. He is becoming increasingly familiar with the car. More specifically, as regards preparations for the Rallye de France, we then organised a test session in the region of Sanremo, on roads similar to those in Corsica. The road surface is very different to Germany, so we needed to adapt the set-up.”

The event promises to be a big challenge for Andrea Crugnola and Michele Ferrara, who will have to contend with stiff competition as the end of the season approaches. “As the Junior WRC crews will be taking part in the WRC 3, the list of entrants will be long, and the title race will only boost the competition. No one will be taking their time. Everyone will be pushing from the word go. We are nonetheless aiming to win, so we can remain focussed on the target and keep up the pressure on the championship leader. We’d like to head for Catalonia with as many points as possible in order to remain in contention to win the WRC 3 title.”

With the Clio R3T European Trophy crews in tow

The Team Renault Sport Technologies’ Clio won’t be the only Renault car competing in Corsica this weekend. The Tour de Corse marks an important stage in the first running of the Clio R3T European Trophy. The event hosts the finale of the France area, but it also counts as an international round. Eight Clio R3Ts will therefore be in Corsica to fight it out on the island’s narrow, bumpy roads as they attempt to qualify for the Clio R3T European Trophy finale, which will be held at the 2016 Rallye Monte-Carlo. The winner of this final event will be rewarded with a WRC 3 programme in the Clio R3T in the 2016 World Championship. Three others Clio R3T will take part to the event.

WRC 3 standings ahead of the Tour de Corse
1. Quentin Gilbert 75 points (4 results)
2. Ole Christian Veiby 65 (4 results)
3. Andrea Crugnola 52 (4 results)
4. Henri Haapamaki 48 (3 results)
5. Simone Tempestini 44 (4 results) …

Clio R3T European Trophy standings – France area
1. Benoit Vaillant 138 points
2. Jean-Sébastien Vigion 69 points
3. Marvin Sorin 55 points
4. William Pitot 33 points
5. Nicolas Rouillard 15 points
6. Philippe Rageau 12 points
7. Didier Héron 12 points

Clio R3T European Trophy standings – International category
1. Alberto Monarri 60 points
2. Alain Pyrame 56 points
3. Zoltan Bessenyey 38 points
4. David Nafria 36 points
5. Frederic Perrard 10 points
6. Frederiq Deplace 2 points