The Clio R3T European Trophy areas resumed their season in the second half of August. The majority of the favourites prevailed, such as Fran Cima at Rally Ferrol in the Iberia area and Luca Rossetti at Rally Friuli – Venezia – Giulia in the Italy area. The Rallye Mont Blanc Morzine, which counted for both the France and Alps areas, was won by Benoît Vaillant and Jean-Pierre Gatti respectively.
After the summer break, the drivers and teams in the Clio R3T Trophy Iberia area returned to action at Rally Ferrol (22-23 August). Championship leader with three wins out of three, Fran Cima took control of the contest from the word go and then produced a solid performance to finish ahead of Gil Antunes. Having also claimed the most stage wins, he scored the maximum 30 points, giving him a total of 120 and meaning he is almost certain to end the season in first place and contest the Monte-Carlo finale in 2016. Gil Antunes lies second with 42 points, ahead of Joao Correia (21). The competitors will be back in action very soon at Rally Principe de Asturias (11-13 September), an Iberian international 2 event.
The Clio R3T European Trophy Italy area was already in its fifth round with Rally Friuli Venezia Giulia (29-30 August). Following the rapid retirement of Ivan Ferrarroti, the fight for victory was between Luca Rossetti and Aleks Humar. The former European Champion got the better of the Slovene, as well as all the other drivers in the R3 class. Rossetti and Humar shared all of the stage wins in the R3 class, reflecting the intensity of their battle for the lead. Luca Rossetti ending up claiming a convincing win, taking fifth place overall in addition to securing victory in the R3 class. Another 30 point-haul means he now has 150, and is certain to end the season as leader. He is trailed by Ivan Ferrarroti (104), Fabrizio Andolfi (69), Giacomo Scattolon (42) and Aleks Humar (36).
Rallye Mont Blanc Morzine (4-5 September) was the final coefficient 1 round for two areas, France and Alps. After this event, the calendars will conclude with international rallies; in France, the Tour de Corse, and for Alps, the Rallye du Valais.
For the French round, championship leader Benoît Vaillant was quick from the very start. He beat William Pitot to secure another 30 points, equally ensuring that he will head for Monaco to contest the finale of this intense programme. He has a total of 138 points and leads the overall standings from Jean-Sébastien Vigion (69), Marvin Sorin (55), William Pitot (33), Nicolas Rouillard (15), Philippe Rageau and Didier Héron (12).
In the Alps area, the outcome is less certain since three drivers remain in contention for the last place in the season-ending finale. Leading the area standings going into the rally, contested around Morzine, Michaël Burri initially scrapped with Olivier Courtois on day one. However, Jean-Pierre Gatti grabbed the lead at the start of the second leg, before going on to take the points for the win. He finished ahead of Olivier Courtois, who picked up the bonus points for the best performer. Despite finishing third, Michaël Burri continues to lead the overall standings (99 points), ahead of Jean-Pierre Gatti (76), Olivier Courtois (75) and Toni Buemi (15). It will all be decided for the three leading contenders at the Rallye International du Valais (28-31 October).
Sadly, Rallye Mont Blanc Morzine also witnessed the fatal crash of Frédéric Comte on SS2. Despite their pain and suffering, the family and the team of the French driver wanted the rally to continue in his memory. Renault Sport Technologies would like to renew its support for the family and close friends of Frédéric Comte, and addresses its sincerest condolences to all those who knew and loved this rally-mad driver.
Forthcoming Clio R3T European Trophy rallies:
11-13 September: Principe de Asturias (Iberia)
1-4 October: Tour de Corse (France)
9-11 October: Rally 2 Valli (Italy)
28-31 October: Rallye International du Valais (Alps)