Defending Gentlemen category champion David Pajot kept all the elements of his success to defend his crown with brio. With nine wins in twelve races, this businessman once again stamped his authority on the category to repeat by achieving other goals in the general classification.
A well-known racer in the single-make cups, David Pajot has made steady progress over the years and was looking forward to a new milestone in the final campaign of the fourth-generation Clio Cup in France. To do this, the 45-year-old driver chose to stay with a winning outfit by renewing his confidence in the Vic’Team squad that allowed him to star in the 2018 Clio Cup International Finale.
Very quickly, David Pajot was comforted in his decision with his win in the Gentlemen category at the season-opener at Nogaro. Leaving empty-handed the following day, he was back on the top step of the podium at Imola to leave Italy just ten points behind Mickaël Carrée, determined to retake the crown the native of Limoges scooped one year earlier.
With the absence of his rival at Lédenon, David Pajot won both races before taking a third straight success in Barcelona, where he in turn had to skip a race. His rival made the most of it, but he preserved his 4-point lead going into the summer break.
The round at Magny-Cours proved to be decisive. David Pajot won twice in Burgundy to relegate Mickaël Carrée at 14 points and the man driving the Clio Cup with the best colour scheme according to our social media channels took the crown in style thanks to two more wins at Le Castellet!
“This second title is the fruit of all the labour put in over two years now with the Vic’Team, David Dubuc and his staff”, he says. “It also proves that last year wasn’t a fluke! I don’t think it was harder to get this year, but it wasn’t easier either! The contenders were the same, but I think we were better prepared this year and this let us to better manage the championship with 9 wins in 11 races.”
In addition to defending his crown, David Pajot also wanted to highlight his progress in the field and he did so in a very impressive manner by easily settling into the overall top ten!
“I am really satisfied”, he continues. “Our goal was to finish in the top 10 in the general classification. It was quite an ambitious target as the Clio Cup has a reputation for being ultra-competitive. Finishing seventh is hugely gratifying and once again it rewards all the work the team put in and the sacrifices that have been made. Perhaps the most striking example of this was our weekend at Le Castellet. I was determined to finish on the podium at a track that I particularly like. I almost did it [taking third place points behind a guest driver, editor’s note] while also having set the fastest race lap the day before. In my opinion, this was the real achievement of the year even if there are a few regrets about qualifying where we went out on slicks when it began to rain...”
Always on the lookout for new challenges, this hotel, restaurant and car business owner won’t be able to defend his double crown next year due to the Clio Cup France rules, but he will remain a part of the paddock… Among other projects?
“It is a big question”, he concludes. “With our results, the New Clio Cup path is the most logical, but I wouldn’t be eligible in the Gentlemen category in 2020 after winning the title two years in a row. So I am listening to the propositions from my team, which also competes in GT4 and we are working on the project, which is yet to be finalized, to race in the FFSA French GT Championship with a Mercedes AMG GT4. However, I will not turn my back on the Clio Cup France because I will very likely do at least three rounds, namely Nogaro, Brands Hatch and Le Castellet!”