Clio Rally5 was in action this weekend with the opening rounds of the Clio Trophy France Asphalte and Clio Trophy Swiss, while Clio Rally4 starred in its French debut.
Just three weeks after its competition debut, Clio Rally4 scored its first podium finish on its first start in France. Entrusted to Jean-Sébastien Vigion, the car designed by the Viry-Châtillon and Dieppe teams won seven of the eleven special stages of the Rallye Le Touquet - Pas-de-Calais while also battling for the victory against stiff competition.
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Clio Trophy France
Thomas Chauffray came close to victory in the last Clio Trophy France event eight months ago but he got his revenge by winning in Le Touquet. However, after a season with three different winners in as many rounds, the title went to Anthony Fotia, who will receive a programme with Clio Rally4 in 2021 thanks to his 2020 Junior crown. The driver from Nice got his first taste at his new car on Monday at a media day in Irancy.
Thanks to his faultless weekend, Thomas Chauffray also won the opening round of the Clio Trophy France Asphalte. The Frenchman set the fastest time in the Jean Ragnotti Power Stage to score maximum points and leads the general classification heading to the Rallye Vosges Grand-Est (10-12 June).
Clio Trophy Swiss
David Erard and Sarah Junod claimed top honours in the first round of the Clio Trophy Swiss held at the Rallye du Chablais.
In the lead after the first special stage contested, the crew saw Ismaël Vuistiner and Florine Kummer move ahead on the following timed sector but the new leaders retired after an accident on SS7. Sacha Althaus and Lisiane Zbinden inherited the lead just until SS10.
Back at the sharp end of the order, David Erard and Sarah Junod sealed the win on the final two stages, while Sacha Althaus and Lisiane Zbinden edged past Jérémie Toedtli and Julie Faure by just 0.6s to finish runner-up.
Thanks to their cool-headed victory, David Erard and Sarah Junod also won the first round of the Swiss Junior Rally Championship.
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Next round: Rallye National des Bornes (18-19 June)
In Spain, Marc Ventura impressed, finishing seventh overall on the Rally Empordà won by his father Jordi. Teaming up with Gerard Alsina, the Catalan won his category ahead of the Clio Rally5 crew of Joan Sabater and Guifré Pujol. Clio Rally5s also completed a one-two finish in their category on Rally Isla de Gran Canaria, with Marcos Martín and Armando Rivero finishing seventh overall. Sebastián and Adrián Gil finished only a few seconds outside the top ten in the general classification.
In Denmark, Jan Jørgensen and Jacob Back Gernhōfer took their second win of the year and third podium in as many starts with Clio Rally5 at Yokohamamesterskabet Øst. They also finished 17th in the general classification.
After an all-rally weekend, Clio Cup ad Clio RX take over this week. On track, the fifth meeting of the Clio Cup Europe will take place at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli (4-6 June), where nearly 30 competitors will be in action. Meanwhile, Clio RX will make its much-anticipated competition debut in the FFSA French Junior Rallycross Championship at Châteauroux (4-6 June).
Photos 1, 2 et 3: DPPI / Alpine Racing
Photo 4: Clio Trophy Swiss