2019 Clio Cup Italia winner Felice Jelmini (PMA Motorsport) made a successful return to the discipline with the pole position and victory in race one of the Clio Cup Europe at the Red Bull Ring. The Italian was joined on the podium by David Pouget (GPA Racing) and Marc Guillot (Milan Compétition), who both enjoyed a good day in their title campaign as their rival Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition) finished fourteenth on Saturday.
Felice Jelmini set the pace right from the start of the weekend by dominating the first two practice sessions. Alessandro Sebasti Scalera (Milan Competition) took over in the final session, but the PMA Motorsport driver won the pole by more than 0.7s.
Felice Jelmini started from pole ahead of Marc Guillot, Andreas Stucki (Stucki Motorsport), David Pouget and Tomas Pekar (Carpek Services) in a top-five representing four different nationalities. Meanwhile, Nicolas Milan started thirty-sixth after having encountered a technical problem preventing him to contest the qualifying session.
At the start, Felice Jelmini held on the lead and maintained his leadership before creating a gap to the chasing pack, now joined by Gabriele Torelli (Faro Racing). On lap four, the safety car was called after Andreas Stucki’s off.
The race resumed for a short time as the proceedings were again neutralised two laps later after the incident that saw Horn (GPA Racing) retire at turn one. While Felice Jelmini controlled the two restarts, the battles intensified behind him. On lap ten, David Pouget found the opening on Marc Guillot to move into second place, while Anthony Jurado (Milan Competition) ran into Gabriele Torelli in the braking zone at turn one. The Italian hit the guardrail and the safety car was needed again while the Frenchman was shown the black flag.
The race resumed for the last lap. Felice Jelmini resisted the attacks of his pursuers to take the win on his Clio Cup return ahead of David Pouget and Marc Guillot. Filippo Berto (Oregon Team) won his duel with Lorenzo Nicoli (Progetto E20 Motorsport) and finished fourth and best Challenger ahead of his countryman. Tomas Pekar and Jerzy Spinkiewicz (Uniq Racing) were followed by Antonio Herrerias (Chefo Sport), who finished eighth on his Clio Cup debut. Kevin Jimenez (GPA Racing) and Paolo Maria Silvestrini (Progetto E20 Motorsport) completed the top ten ahead of Lionel Viguier (TB2S), who won the Gentlemen Drivers Cup.
In the general classification, David Pouget increased his lead to 34 points from Nicolas Milan while Marc Guillot consolidated his third place overall at 83 points to the leader. Fourth today in the Challengers Cup, Kevin Jimenez (GPA Racing) also extended his lead in the category while the gaps are narrowing in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup still led by Horn.
Felice Jelmini did the double by defeating Marc Guillot, whose result increased his lead at the top of the general classification. Behind the two men, Filippo Berto edged Lorenzo Nicoli to win and take the lead in the Challengers category.
Starting from the last row, Alessio Sebasti Scalera charged through the field to take the Gentlemen lead from Due (Oregon Team) on lap seven. With the win, the Italian driver extends his lead over Quinto Stefana (Oregon Team), who finished third today.
Marc Guillot took his third consecutive win with a dominant victory ahead of Tomas Pekar, who took advantage of Andreas Stucki’s mistake to move up to second place, with Jerzy Spinkiewicz completing the podium. The Pole took a big step towards the Challengers crown by beating his closest rivals Mariano Alonso (GPA Racing) and Henrik Seibel (Carpek Services).
Meanwhile, Lionel Viguier needed to finish seventh among the Gentlemen Drivers competitors in Clio Cup Europe to seal the Gentlemen’s Group C title. The French driver put in a solid performance with his third victory on the European scene to clinch the title with three races still to be run and become the first driver to be crowned in the 2021 Clio Cups season!
The Clio Cup Europe will be back in action on Sunday for qualifying at 9h40 before race two at the Red Bull Ring, which is scheduled to start at 16h20.