Boris Carminati lived up to his status among the favourites in the Clio R3T Trophy France in pushing Ivan Ferrarotti into an unforced error in their superb battle for the win. Further back, Dorian Nicolas edged Guillaume Jean in a thrilling fight for second, suggesting that this season is going to be extremely competitive.

Boris Carminati jumped into the lead on Friday’s opening stage ahead of Romain Di Fante, who suffered a puncture on the following test.

After moving up to second, Alexis Frontier had a setback of his own on SS3, while Boris Carminati set another best time to head to the service park with a 13.5s lead from Ivan Ferrarotti. Further back in the field, it was a four-man scrum with less than 10 seconds separating Cédric Noe, William Pitot, Guillaume Jean and Dorian Nicolas.

In the afternoon, Boris Carminati set just one scratch time, while Ivan Ferrarotti took three to narrow the gap to 8.4s. While the leaders pulled away, the intense skirmish for the final spot on the podium continued.

Ivan Ferrarotti picked up where he left off on Friday, taking another 1.7s out off Boris Carminati on Saturday’s opening stage. The battle raged on, but the leader answered and finally pushed the Italian into a mistake on SS11.

Free from any pressure, Boris Carminati now had a 1:33.9s advantage that he managed on the final loop of the rally to seal his second career victory in the Clio R3T Trophy France.

The fight for the podium continued all the way to the finish. After moving ahead of Dorian Nicolas on SS9, Guillaume Jean saw his rival erase his 17.4s deficit to take second place from him on the final special stage.

William Pitot finished fourth overall and best among the Juniors ahead of Romain Di Fante, who was 15th at the start of the last leg, but set best time on the last four stages. Cédric Noe was sixth ahead of Gentleman category winner Olivier Courtois and Jérémy Jamet, who was penalized two minutes for checking in late. Daniel Tozlanian and José Javier Pérez completed the top ten.

Keana Erickson-Chang was best among the ladies following the retirement of Charlotte Berton, who was 10th overall when she went off the road on SS6.

The next round of the Clio R3T Trophy France will take place during the running of the Vosges Grand Est Rally on July 14-16.

Boris Carminati: “It’s been a perfect weekend. We were strong right from the start and immediately took the lead, but we had to push when Ferrarotti closed in. We managed to build a lead before he made a mistake and then we just had to manage the lead in the final leg. I hope this win will lead to others, but the competition level has increased since last year with the arrival of serious contenders like Ivan and Romain, as well as some others. There will be four or five of us contending for the title, so we have to be consistent and score maximum points on next round’s slippery roads. I have mixed memories there, with most notably a big crash that sent me to hospital, but I think that if we are consistent the podium is possible.”

Clio R3T Trophy France – Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières-Rhône
1. Boris Carminati — Marine Lacruz – 2h02:46.6s
2. Dorian Nicolas — Valentin Sarreaud +1:39.1s
3. Guillaume Jean — Loris Pascaud+1:53.9s
4. William Pitot — Romain Brun (J) +2:34.7s
5. Romain Di Fante — Patrick Chiappe (J) +2:59.5s
6. Cédric Noe — Alex Vignolle +3:04.7s
7. Olivier Courtois — Hubert Risser (G) +3:10.2s
8. Jérémy Jamet — Michaël Secache (J) +4:05.3s
9. Damien Tozlanian — Jérémy Pacaud +4:35.5s
10. José Javier Pérez — Alberto Espino (J) +5:25.4s
11. Philippe Rageau — Alexandra Rageau (G) +5:57.1s
12. Václav Stejskal Jr — Stanislav Viktora (J) +6:04.7s
13. Pascal Bérard — Caroline Bérard (G) +7:33.9s
14. Dominique Patenotte — Valentin Goutel (G) +8:39.6s
15. Raphaël Marry — Jérôme Duc (G) +8:44.2s
16. Guy Bertrand — Karine Gehin (G) +10:18.6s
17. Yoann Lambert — Maxime Biegalke +11:21.3s
18. Éric Filippi — Francis Mazotti (G) +11:45.3s
19. Christophe Herbelin — Loïc Boudaud (G) +13:46.0s
20. Keana Erickson-Chang — Alex Gelsomino (F) +20:01.4s
Ab. Ivan Ferrarotti — Manuel Fenoli
Ab. Mathieu Walter — Thibault Raincourt
Ab. Alexis Frontier — Julie Vidal (J)
Ab. Charlotte Berton — Cécile Pages (F)
Ab. Antoine La Rochefoucauld — Sébastien Coutin (G)
NP. Franck Badel — Thierry Devaux

Clio R3T Trophy France - General classification
1. Boris Carminati, 30 points
2. Dorian Nicolas, 18 points
3. Guillaume Jean, 15 points
4. Romain Di Fante, 13 points
5. William Pitot, 12 points
6. Cédric Noe, 8 points
7. Olivier Courtois, 6 points
8. Jérémy Jamet, 4 points
9. Damien Tozlanian, 2 points
10. José Javier Pérez, 1 point
11. Ivan Ferrarotti, 1 point
12. Philippe Rageau, 0 point
13. Václav Stejskal Jr, 0 point
14. Pascal Bérard, 0 point
15. Dominique Patenotte, 0 point
16. Raphaël Marry, 0 point
17. Guy Bertrand, 0 point
18. Yoann Lambert, 0 point
19. Éric Filippi, 0 point
20. Christophe Herbelin, 0 point
21. Keana Erickson-Chang, 0 point