Renault Sport, an official manufacturer of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), will field three cars at the 55th Tour de Corse. The duos of François Delecour and Dominique Savignoni, and Emmanuel Guigou and Gabin Moreau will be hoping to drive their Megane Renaultsport N4s to victory in the two-wheel drive category, while Nicolas Romiguière and Alexis Nègre continue their learning process at the wheel of the Twingo Renaultsport R2 Evo.
The Tour de Corse sits alongside the Monte Carlo, 1000 Lakes and Safari rallies as one of the most iconic events in the world of rallying. Since the event was created in 1956, Renault has won the so-called ‘rally of 10,000 corners’ on 10 occasions.
Now an IRC event after a long and successful period as part of the WRC calendar, the 2012 Tour de Corse features the involvement of Renault Sport Technologies, which will field three top-class crews for the event.
Emmanuel Guigou, who competes in the French Rally Championship in the Megane RS N4, is relishing his chance to shine on the international stage. “The Tour de Corse is a legendary rally for every driver, and taking part as an official Renault driver is a great honour,” said Guigou, whose Megane is entered by his usual team, Chazel Technologie Course. “The objective is clear: win the 2WD and Production Cup categories, while achieving the best possible finish in the overall standings. I’m new to the event, but I have the advantage of knowing the car very well,” he added.
Guigou, from Vaucluse in the south-east of France, will be up against a Tour de Corse specialist in François Delecour, who won the event in 1993 after leading from start to finish. Delecour, who also competes in a Megane Renaultsport N4 for Mach 1 Motorsport in the Romanian Rally Championship, is looking forward to returning to one of his favourite rally locations. “I’m racing with two goals: to enjoy myself and to get good results,” he said. “I think the Megane Renaultsport N4 will be well at home in Corsica. I have very fond memories of this rally and I hope we can put up a good fight. I’d be happy if I could get a good result for my co-driver, Dominique Savignoni, as he will be on home soil.”
Delecour’s Megane Renaultsport N4 is entered by Automeca Solutions, who will also field that of Robert Consani and Nicolas Klinger. The pair are currently joint leaders of the Production Cup following their victory in the Rally Islas Canarias. As well as Guigou’s car, Chazel Technologie Course will also be entering the Megane Renaultsport N4 of Corsica natives Paul-Toussaint Albertini and Fabrice Gaglio.
Nicolas Romiguière won the Twingo R1 Trophy and French Junior Championship in 2011 to earn his place at the wheel of the Twingo Renaultsport R2 Evo for the 2012 season. Romiguière, from Aveyron in the south of France, will be competing in his third rally in Corsica, having already appeared in the Rallye du Touquet and the Rallye Terre des Causses. “I can’t wait to be there!” he said. “I’d like to thank Renault Sport Technologies for extending my schedule beyond the seven rounds of the French Championship that were originally planned. Competing in this rally will definitely benefit me in terms of experience. I’ll go into the event with my feet on the ground, and we’ll see what kind of target we can aim for after the opening stages.”
“The Tour de Corse is a legendary event, whose history is closely connected to that of Renault Sport. We are proud to be fielding three top crews, who will be driving the very latest models from our rally range,” said Jean-Pascal Dauce, Competition Director at Renault Sport Technologies. “Renault won the 2WD category in 2011 thanks to Jean-Michel Raoux, and our goal is to retain the title. The Megane Renaultsport N4 is also eligible for IRC Production Cup points, and we hope to continue to demonstrate the car’s potential against four-wheel drive vehicles.”