Since the last visit of the Clio Cup France to the Lédenon circuit, the current generation Clio Cup has never been raced on one of the most undulating and technical circuits in France. The third round of the year will take care of that in proposing an unprecedented challenge – or almost – to a field full of ambition before looking ahead to the second-half of the season.
For the first time since 2013, Lédenon and its unique elevation changes with no equal in France will host the Clio Cup France and its frantic battles for two races that promise to be extremely hot in every sense of the word!
With three successive victories, Dorian Guldenfelfs (TB2S) is currently the man to beat. While the 2017 Junior category champion looks to have matured, this weekend will be a real test of his ability to react to what awaits him because he now has to drop the hammer on the track where he clinched his first title in a car.
In what has been a solid campaign where he has finished every race so far in the top four, his team mate and team director Thibaut Bossy (TB2S) hopes to make the most of his wealth of experience in the arid region to erase his seven-point deficit and get the better of the Lorraine native.
The two leaders are wary of the ever-growing chase group led by Luis González (Team VRT), who continually demonstrates his ability as a fast learner on circuits he doesn’t know very well or no at all. The Spaniard intends to close up to the overall leader, while continuing his dominance of the Junior category ahead of Edwin Traynard (Autosport GP).
Other contenders will rely on their knowledge of the circuit. When the last time the category came to Lédenon, Benoît Castagné (Raiwoit Racing by GM Sport) and David Pouget (GPA Racing) fought for the win and no doubt they want to do it again to make up for what has been a disappointing season so far for them. Both come in full of confidence after they each scored a runner-up result in the Clio Cup Open held in support of the French Formula 1 Grand Prix. Absent at Imola, defending champion Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition) also wants to move up the general classification order.
Meanwhile, Guillaume Savoldelli (TB2S) has another podium finish in his sights after tasting the champagne for the first time at Imola. Corentin Tierce (Tierce Racing) and Alexandre Albouy (GPA Racing) believe their time has come, although they will have to contend with Anthony Jurado (Milan Compétition), who is eager to bounce back after his drop in form that followed his success at Nogaro.
For their part, Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition), Lionel Viguier (TB2S), Emmanuel Alliot (Emma Compétition), Jérémy Bordagaray (Borda Rallye Team), Kevin Jimenez (GPA Racing) and Antoine Prenveille (Team Prenveille) hope to get back in the mix before the second half of the season that will take them to Barcelona, Magny-Cours and Circuit Paul Ricard.
A proper race within the race, the battle among the Gentleman looks to be just as promising as the others. While David Pajot (Vic’Team) is a challenger for the win on a circuit not for the faint of heart, he will have to temper his risk-taking desire or he will see brothers Emmanuel and Samuel Raffin (Autosport GP) or Stéphane Auriacombe (Tierce Racing) make up ground to him. After his Imola podium, Veenesh Shunker (CVS Auto) wants even more while Samuel Chaligne (SC Sport) hopes to come up big to get back in the hunt.
And finally, three drivers are about to make their season debut. After competing in the French FFSA GT Championship, Guillaume Maio and his GM Sport team are taking on the Clio Cup challenge at their home track. Long-time entrant of Clio Cups in hill climbs, Julien Paget (Tierce Racing) is also taking up the Lédenon challenge just like Mikka de Peretti (Milan Compétition), who has been competing in karts and in the Legends Car Cup until now.
Thursday 4 July
9:00-10:00: Collective test 1
11:30-12:30: Collective test 2
15:05-16:05: Collective test 3
Friday 5 July
10:55-11:25: Free practice 1
15:30-16:00: Free practice 2
Saturday 6 July
12:10-12:30: Qualifying 1
17:30-18:00: Race 1 (25 minutes + 1 lap)
Sunday 7 July
9:35-9:55: Qualifying 2
15:15-15:45: Race 2 (25 minutes + 1 lap)