Saint-Yrieix marks start of Renault Sport Challenge sprint finish

The last-but-one round of the 2014 Renault Sport Challenge takes place this weekend (13-14 September). A fixture on the French Rally Cup calendar, the 12th Rallye du Pays de Saint-Yrieix brings together the season’s leading crews in the R1, R2 and R3/N4 classes, with two of three titles having already been decided.

The R3/N4 class will attract the largest number of drivers at the Rallye du Pays de Saint-Yrieix, with eight crews entering, seven of them in the Clio R.S. R3 and Laurent Lacomy and Sebastien Mattei at the wheel of the Megane R.S. N4. Third in the overall standings, they still have designs on taking the title.

The men ahead of them will also be in action, however. Points leaders Mickael Reydellet and Thomas Chauffray will start as favourites, having scored podium finishes on their last three outings, though will have to contend with their closest pursuers, Pascal and Caroline Berard, who have six top-four finishes to their names this year.

Fresh from impressing at the Rallye Cœur de France, where they took third place in the class, Philippe and Alexandra Rageau could well challenge the top three, while the experienced Jean-Sebastien Vigion, who will have Yann Poursain in the co-driver’s seat, will also have his sights set on a good result.

Among the outsiders are Thomas Gaume and Antoine Welischek, who placed ninth in the R3/N4 class at the Rallye Cœur de France. Jerome Joussely/Audrey Lachieze and Damien Faucher/Guillaume Coquet will also have points to prove.

In the R2 class, meanwhile, William Pitot and Alexis Estival will be looking to celebrate their Renault Sport Challenge title in style. Class winners in the last two rounds, they have pulled well clear at the top of the standings and cannot now be caught. Hoping to push them hard in Saint-Yrieix will be Marvin Sorin and Karine Moinet in the Twingo R.S. R2. The duo have already turned in some fine performances this year, most notably in winning in Dieppe.

Finally in R1, Aurelien Lafont and Aurelien Verdenet will be hoping to maintain their impressive momentum. Winners in four of the last five rounds in the Renault Sport Challenge, they cannot now be caught at the top of the standings and will be out to celebrate their title in style. Second in their last two R1 outings, Romain Auvert and Maxime Belivier have designs on returning to the top of the podium for the first time since the season’s opening event, while Matthieu and Wilfrid Tarif, the only other crew taking part, will hope to build on their third place in the previous round.

The Rallye du Pays de Saint-Yrieix begins at 14.45 on Saturday 13 September and concludes at 15.00 on Sunday. There are ten specials on the programme, comprising a total of 137 kilometres of timed sections.

Entry list
R3/N4 class
14. Mickaël Reydellet – Thomas Chauffray (Renault Clio R.S. R3)
15. Pascal Bérard – Caroline Bérard (Renault Clio R.S. R3)
16. Laurent Lacomy – Sébastien Mattéi (Renault Mégane R.S. N4)
17. Philippe Rageau – Alexandra Rageau (Renault Clio R.S. R3)
18. Jean-Sébastien Vigion – Yann Poursain (Renault Clio R.S. R3)
19. Jérôme Joussely – Audrey Lachieze (Renault Clio R.S. R3)
20. Thomas Gaume et Antoine Welischek (Renault Clio R.S. R3)
21. Damien Faucher – Guillaume Coquet (Renault Clio R.S. R3)

R2 class (Renault Twingo R.S. R2)
37. William Pitot – Alexis Estival
38. Marvin Sorin – Karine Moinet

R1 class (Renault Twingo R.S. R1)
72. Aurélien Lafont – Aurélien Verdenet
73. Romain Auvert – Maxime Bélivier
74. Matthieu Tarif – William Tarif

Renault Sport Challenge standings
R3/N4 class
1. Mickaël Reydellet 85 points
2. Pascal Bérard 81 points
3. Laurent Lacomy 69 points …

R2 class
1. William Pitot 114 points
2. Georges Gonon 86 points
3. Jordan Mottard 56 points
4. Marvin Sorin 37 points …

R1 class
1. Aurélien Lafont 115 points
2. Antoine Margely 83 points
3. Romain Auvert 81 points
4. Nicolas Renchet 71 points
5. Théo Chalal 67 points
6. Emilien Sanlaville 47 points
7. Matthieu Tarif 29 points …