Frenchman Marc Guillot (Milan Compétition) scored his second win in the 2021 Clio Cup Europe season with a perfect getaway at the restart after the only safety car period of the race to take the win away from teammate Nicolas Milan. Challengers Cup winner Alexandre Albouy (GPA Racing) completed the podium whilst Italian Alessandro Sebasti Scalera (Milan Compétition) took top honours in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola.
Beaten by Gabriele Torelli (Faro Racing) and others in the first collective practice session, Nicolas Milan was back atop the timing screen in the second session on Friday before setting the pace in qualifying. The Clio Cup Europe leader started from pole position ahead of Marc Guillot, David Pouget (GPA Racing), Gabriele Torelli and Alexandre Albouy.
While Marc Guillot made the best start, Nicolas Milan kept the lead over his two closest title rivals. Meanwhile, Alexandre Albouy used the slipstream to take fourth place from Gabriele Torelli. The Italian driver lost more ground when he went wide before a collision with Anthony Jurado (Milan Competition) on lap two. Federico Scionti (Scuderia Costa Ovest) then moved into the top five, but he also had a scary moment on two wheels on the following lap.
A group of four drivers broke away from the field. Nicolas Milan made the most of the battle between Marc Guillot and David Pouget to extend his lead but everything changed when the safety car went out after Filippo Berto (Oregon Team) rolled on lap eight.
The action resumed for a two-lap sprint with light rain in some corners. As soon as the race was restarted, Marc Guillot caught Nicolas Milan before taking over the first place at the chicane. David Pouget also tried to take the lead from Nicolas Milan, but he went wide out of a corner and was then passed by Alexandre Albouy.
Marc Guillot had to defend a final move from Nicolas Milan before sealing his second success of the year ahead of his teammate and Alexandre Albouy, winner in the Challengers Cup. David Pouget finished just off the podium ahead of Clio Cup returnee Gustavo Sandrucci (Progetto E20 Motorsport). The Italian was followed by Paolo Maria Silvestrini (Progetto E20 Motorsport), Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Competition), Federico Scionti and Alessandro Sebasti Scalera. Leader from start to finish in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup, the latter was followed by Cristian Ricciarini (Essecorse) in the top ten.
While Nicolas Milan is now 23 points clear of David Pouget in the general classification, Marc Guillot continues to make up ground. Non-starter Kévin Jimenez (GPA Racing) still owns a comfortable lead in the Challengers Cup ahead of Mathieu Lannepoudenx and Alexandre Albouy, who is now third after his victory. Lastly, Laurent Dziadus sees Horn (GPA Racing) now just five points behind while Alessandro Sebasti Scalera is now up to fourth after his fourth win of the year.
Clio Cup Europe winner Marc Guillot also made a lot of headway thanks to the collision between Anthony Jurado and Gabriele Torelli. By winning ahead of Gustavo Sandrucci and Paolo Maria Silvestrini, the Frenchman is now just three points behind Anthony Jurado and four adrift of Gabriele Torelli, the new Group A leader.
Filippo Berto, who set the fastest time among the Challengers in qualifying, overcame his grid penalty to overtake Giacomo Trebbi (MC Motortecnica) before his rollover. New leader Mickaël Carrée (T2CM) was followed to the finish line by Alessio Alcidi (Caal Racing), who takes the lead in the category, and Lorenzo Nicoli (Progetto E20 Motorsport).
Like his teammate Marc Guillot, Alessandro Sebasti Scalera also scored a double win. This victory ahead of Due (Oregon Team) and Andrea Argenti (SI Racing Team) sees the Italian regain the lead among the Gentlemen Drivers in Group A.
The Clio Cup Europe will be back in action on Sunday, with the second qualifying session at 9h40. Race two from Imola gets underway at 16h20.