Nicolas Romiguiere and Alexis Negre are set to embark on the second half of the season in the inaugural Rallye Terre de Lozère – Sud de France, the latest round of the French Road Rally Championship. The duo will be competing in the Twingo Renaultsport R2 Evo, entered specially for the event by Renault Sport Technologies.
Nearly two months on from their last appearance at the Rallye Aveyron Rouergue, Romiguiere and Negre are ready to make their reappearance at Mende: “We had some good news during the summer. Thanks to the support of Renault Sport Technologies we’ve been called up to Rally Team France for the upcoming Rallye de France – Alsace in the Twingo Renaultsport R2 Evo. That means we’ve got a good programme lined up for the end of the season and we’ll be competing in the World Rally Championship.”
The 2011 Junior French Rally champions will be lining up in Lozère for the first event on their hectic schedule: “We had a testing session at the start of the week and that allowed us to get used to the Twingo Renaultsport R2 again. We worked on the shock absorber set-up and the engine mapping to adjust the car to the roads we’ll be coming across in this event.”
Though the route is new to the near-150 entrants, Romiguiere will be able to draw on the experience he gained in this spring’s Rallye Terre des Causses. Leg one of the rally, which takes place this coming Saturday, will unfold just outside the town of Marvejols and features among others,a long 24-km special stage. The drivers will head to Chateauneuf-de-Randon the following day on somewhat wider but also sandier roads.
“The roads look a little bit different to the ones you usually find in the French championship,” said Romiguiere. “They’re quite twisting and narrow, with a lot of ups and downs. The surface could well be dusty and slippery because it hasn’t rained for a long time there.
“We need to show the huge potential of the Twingo Renaultsport R2 Evo all the way to the finish line. We’re full of confidence after testing. We’ve got the set-up right and that’s made the car easier for me to handle because it’s more suited to my style of driving. The aim is to win our class and prove what the car can do. I also feel we’re in with a chance of beating a few R3s. It just depends how the race pans out.”
Technical and administrative checks will take place at the Place du Foirail in Mende, where the parc fermé and the PC Course will also be located. The service areas will be situated at the Mascoussel Sports Complex in Marvejols and then at Veyrines. The rally, which ends in Mende at 15.30 on Sunday, comprises ten special stages across 149.20 timed kilometres.