The first half of the 2015 programme drew to a close for the semi-works Renault Clio R3T entered by Renault Sport Technologies and ASM Motorsport. After rallies in Portugal, Italy and Poland, all held on gravel, Andrea Crugnola lies fifth in the WRC 3 standings with 27 points, within a race win of the two leaders, Ole Christian Veiby and Quentin Gilbert (50 points). Ahead of the second half of the season, which will see Clio R3T compete in the three tarmac rounds – Rally Deutschland, Rallye de France and Rally de España – winning the world title is still a distinct possibility, and it may well come down to the final round at Wales Rally GB.
Andrea Crugnola and Michele Ferrara had made a good start in Poland, featuring in the top five for most of the first leg. Their progress was, however, cut short by a broken suspension arm. Having lost all hopes of finishing high up the standings, they rejoined on Saturday looking to use the rest of the rally to add to their experience in the car. On the very fast Polish roads, Clio R3T took advantage of the remaining stages to raise its performance level and secure several top-three times. In the end, the Italian pair finished tenth, scoring one point.
“The crew made progress throughout the weekend, gradually upping the pace as they completed more stages,” noted Josep Ferrer-Trias, WRC 3 Programme Coordinator at Renault Sport Technologies. “They did nothing wrong as regards the retirement and they managed to regain their form after rejoining under Rally 2 rules. In terms of performance, we were on the pace and that augurs well for a strong second half of the season. We are also going to be racing on tarmac, a surface on which we have a lot of experience. Our confidence is high as we head for Germany and we hope we can secure a good result there.”
WRC 3 standings after Rally Poland
1. Ole Christian Veiby 50 points
= Quentin Gilbert 50
3. Simone Tempestini 43
4. Henri Haapamaki 30
5. Andrea Crugnola 27
6. Fabio Anfolfi 26
7. Teemu Suninen 25 …