Milan Compétition’s Anthony Jurado and Nicolas Milan shared the spoils in what were two spectacular races at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the penultimate meeting of the season. Nicolas Milan won his third Clio Cup Spain title and increased his lead in Clio Cup France, but his quest for a sixth crown in France will go down to the wire this week at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Round four of the season led the competitors to Catalunya for a Franco-Spanish affair where several drivers were entered in both Cups.
RACE 1: JURADO’S HEROIC RESISTANCE
A title contender in both series, David Pouget (GPA Racing) demonstrated his speed in setting the time to beat in the private and free practice sessions before going on to win the pole position for race one.
The Albi native held on to the lead while Anthony Jurado made a great getaway from fourth to overtake Alex Royo (Team VRT) and Nicolas Milan on an opening lap ending with the retirement of Jordi Palomeras (TB2S). The safety car was called out to allow for the removal of the his car. When the race resumed on lap four, David Pouget kept the field in check before losing the lead to Anthony Jurado at turn one on the following lap.
David Pouget and Nicolas Milan used the slipstream to stay close to race leader Anthony Jurado. David Pouget tried to reclaim the lead before having to fend off the attacks of Nicolas Milan. The three-way battle played into the hands of Isidro Callejas (Chefo Sport), who on lap ten overtook Nicolas Milan for third place.
In the expanding group of leaders, Anthony Jurado flaunted an epic defence against David Pouget all the way to the chequered flag to score his second win of the season. Isidro Callejas, who was ineligible to score points in Clio Cup France, finished third ahead of Nicolas Milan.
Further back in the field, the battle was just as intense with Thibaut Bossy (TB2S) winning his duel for fifth place with Kevin Jimenez (GPA Racing), who then dropped another position for just 0.002s to Alex Royo. Eighth overall, Romain Boeckler (BRS Racing Team) wrapped up the Junior category title while Corentin Tierce (Milan Compétition) finished ninth at less than three seconds to the race winner. In the Gentlemen category, Laurent Dziadus (Team Lucas) led Mickaël Carrée (T2CM) and Franck Niclot (GPA Racing) under the chequers.
RACE 2: MILAN RETURNS TO THE SUMMIT
Dimanche, Nicolas Milan dominait la seconde qualification pour s’élancer devant Kevin Jimenez, Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition), Anthony Jurado et David Pouget.
On Sunday, Nicolas Milan won the pole ahead of Kevin Jimenez, Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition), Anthony Jurado and David Pouget. With a clean getaway, the poleman held on to the lead at the start while Kévin Jimenez and Anthony Jurado battled for second place. Anthony Jurado eventually got the upper hand while his rival fell behind David Pouget, Alex Royo and Corentin Tierce before the safety car came out as Ivan Hernandez (Chefo Sport) was stuck in the gravel trap.
At the restart, Anthony Jurado dove to the inside of Nicolas Milan at turn four to take the lead, but the new leader couldn’t pull away from the rest of the field despite the fierce battle taking place in his mirrors between Nicolas Milan and David Pouget.
Free from David Pouget as Alex Royo closed in on, Nicolas Milan used his vast racing experience to reclaim the lead four laps from the finish, but the battle for the win never went off the boil as David Pouget moved past Anthony Jurado for second place two laps later.
Nicolas Milan kept David Pouget at bay to clinch his third Clio Cup Spain title as well as his third Clio Cup France win this season. Anthony Jurado completed the podium ahead of Alex Royo, Kévin Jimenez, Thibaut Bossy and Junior category winner Romain Boeckler. Laurent Dziadus (Team Lucas) won again in the Gentlemen category, once again ahead of Mickaël Carrée (T2CM) and Franck Niclot (GPA Racing).
In the general classification, Nicolas Milan now has a 115-point lead, but when the worst result of the season is discarded his lead is reduced to 62 points over Anthony Jurado and 93 to David Pouget. Corentin Tierce, Thibaut Bossy and Kévin Jimenez could still create a surprise but their fate is no longer in their hands.
Romain Boeckler secured the Junior category title in the first Clio Cup France season for BRS Racing Team. On the other hand, the battle will rage on in the Gentlemen category where Mickaël Carrée has a slim four-point lead over Laurent Dziadus and 19 points ahead of Franck Niclot with 20 left to be attributed.
New Clio Cup maiden campaign in France will conclude this week at Circuit Paul Ricard. While the competitors have already battled on the F1 track in October, the challenge will be radically different for the season-finale as the 3.8km configuration with the North chicane will be used to offer more diversity!