David Pouget (GPA Racing) won both races at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, scoring a ton of points to narrow the gap to leader Dorian Guldenfels (TB2S) ahead of the summer break. The battle remains tight in all the categories before the final rounds at Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours (13-15 September) and Circuit Paul Ricard (11-13 October)!
In conditions similar to the heatwave at Lédenon two weeks earlier, the field made the most of the lone free-practice session. David Pouget was the most productive and quickest man on track with a lap of 2:04.980s to lead from team mates Jordi Palomeras and Kevin Jimenez with Luis Gonzalez (Team VRT) and Dorian Guldenfels completing the top five.
RACE 1: POUGET COMES UP BIG
The five then battled in qualifying, but Kevin Jimenez saw his hopes dashed when he caused the only red flag of the session. When the action resumed, Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition) led the way, but Mickaël Carrée (T2CM) and Dorian Guldenfels edged past him late in the going. The Clio Cup France leader won the pole for 0.014s, with the top 20 drivers covered by less than a second!
The race started early in the evening, less than three hours after qualifying. While Dorian Guldenfels resisted the pressure from those behind him, Nicolas Milan and Mickaël Carrée each lost several positions after contact. David Pouget and Jordi Palomeras caught up to the back-bumper of race leader Dorian Guldenfels before the accidents of Luis Gonzalez and Nico Abella (Chefo Sport) brought out the safety car.
The race resumed at the end of lap two. After a stout battle in the first few corners, David Pouget took the lead from Dorian Guldenfels. In the wake, Jordi Palomeras got between the two and the trio quickly pulled away from the chase group led by James Ross (Bob Ross Racing).
Further back, Thibaut Bossy (TB2S) was conducting a lesson in how to overtake. 19th on the grid, the title contender was up to 10th at the restart before resuming his march through the field with Nicolas Milan in tow. As the laps ticked off, he made quick work of Corentin Tierce (Tierce Racing), Anthony Jurado (Milan Compétition), Alex Royo (Team VRT), David Pajot (Vic’Team), then James Ross, who earlier lost position to Marc De Fulgencio (Team VRT).
The hierarchy at the sharp end of the order stabilized despite the close gaps just until the chequers. After a few attacks aimed at his team director, Jordi Palomeras fell in behind David Pouget who went on for his second victory of the season and closed ground to Dorian Guldenfels in the general classification.
Fourth at the line, Thibaut Bossy received a drive-through penalty for causing the incident of Luis Gonzalez at the start. Ineligible to score points in the Clio Cup France this weekend, Marc De Fulgencio inherited fourth place ahead of Nicolas Milan and two other Clio Cup Spain drivers James Ross and Alex Royo. While he lost his duel with the Spaniard, David Pagot took top honours in the Gentleman category and finished ahead of Corentin Tierce, who surprised Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition) on the last lap. Antoine Prenveille (Team Prenveille) scored his first success in the Junior category.
RACE 2: POUGET KEEPS THE MOMENTUM GOING
Saturday morning, David Pouget continued his strong form to take his first pole position of the season with a session-best time of 2:04.533s ahead of Jordi Palomeras and Thibaut Bossy. Dorian Guldenfels was only seventh, behind Corentin Tierce, James Ross and Nicolas Milan.
When the lights went out, David Pouget and Jordi Palomeras controlled those behind, while James Ross passed Thibaut Bossy for third place. Dorian Guldenfels was fifth before being caught by Nicolas Milan at the end of an incident-free opening lap.
While the two leaders began to pull away in the first few laps, Thibaut Bossy repassed James Ross on lap three; Nicolas Milan saw an opening and tried to surprise Thibaut Bossy, but his move let Dorian Guldenfels and James Ross close up. The leader of the general classification even managed to gain position before the intervention of the safety car caused by Antonio Aguado (VSR Motorsport).
At the restart, the action was happening in the field. Corentin Tierce passed Alex Royo for seventh place before the Spaniard answered back. On lap eight, Nicolas Milan made his way past Dorian Guldenfels, who was now under threat from James Ross. Alex Royo did himself proud when he overtook both to move up to fifth place.
Race leader, David Pouget never turned a wheel wrong to take his second win of the weekend, while Jordi Palomeras had to fend off a number of attacks from Thibaut Bossy and Nicolas Milan on the final lap. Entered exclusively in the Clio Cup Spain, Alex Royo was fifth ahead of Dorian Guldenfels and Corentin Tierce, who won the four-way battle with Marc De Fulgencio, Luis Gonzalez and James Ross late in the race. Luis Gonzalez took the laurels in the Junior category, as did Mickaël Carrée among the Gentleman.
With the double, David Pouget is now 38 points adrift of Dorian Guldenfels before the final two rounds of the year and 12 drivers are still in title contention. In the Junior category, Luis Gonzalez still leads, as does David Pajot in the Gentleman category even though he only has a slim four-point advantage from Mickaël Carrée.
Next weekend at Hockenheim, David Pouget and team mate Kevin Jimenez will take up another challenge in the second Clio Cup Open this year during the running of the German Formula 1 Grand Prix. The field will then meet up in full after the summer holiday for the final sprint at two F1 homologated circuits: Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (13-15 September), where the fifth generation Clio Cup will be presented in the flesh and the season finale at Circuit Paul Ricard (11-13 October).