The inaugural round of the Clio Trophy France Terre was a fantastic demonstration. Now, the crews and their Clio Rally5s head to Haute-Marne for round two of the season. On what will be a challenging surface, several contenders will aim to verify or reverse the initial trends observed a few weeks ago in Occitania.
At the first round in its history, the Clio Trophy France Terre featured battles throughout the field, with magnificent duels for the podium and other positions right up to the final kilometres. The service park will be even denser, with 11 crews in round two of the season. All are determined to star behind the wheel of Clio Rally5s, and it’s fair to expect more battles among the contenders this week!
After a dominating start to finish victory in round one of the Clio Trophy France Terre, Quentin Ribaud will aim for a second consecutive win to widen the points gap to his rivals. With the support of co-driver Mélissa Ascensio, the Frenchman will rely on the experience he gained in his two previous appearances on this rally in 2016 and 2019 to, once again, dictate his pace.
Jean-Paul Monnin and John Laroche improved from one stage to the next on the season-opening round. Both will now be aiming for their first win of the year. For his sixth start in Langres, the former will try to immediately rediscover the confidence and performance that took him to victory in the two-wheel drive category in 2015 while his rival will be eager to confirm his potential on a surface that he is still learning.
Simon Heinemann, who was in contention for third place in the Castine for most of the weekend, will aim to show that he is a serious challenger, even on a rally he will compete on for the first time, just like veteran Serge Chapus who has pocketed several category podiums in the Haute-Marne .Slightly off the pace a few weeks ago, Switzerland’s Sébastien Studer also wants to take his performance to the next level on a surface he knows well to begin his ascent in the general classification. Grégory Perrard shares this target while he continues to come to grips with Clio Rally5.
Meanwhile, Richard Paget will rely on his experience and the positives of his strong pace at the start of the Rallye Terre de Castine to score more points, as will Marcel Abad, who has been in the top five several times. The Catalan will also strive to narrow the gap to Quentin Ribaud in the Junior category.
Two new competitors will join the expanding service park: Yves Blanc, who finished fifth in the 2014 Swiss Rally Cup, will try to spring a surprise, as will multiple-class winner in the French VHC Cup and the VHC Federal Trophy, Éric Royere!
The Rallye Langres Haute-Marne gets underway on Saturday with two identical loops of three stages making up the longest leg of the event with 75.98 timed kilometres. On Sunday, two passes on two additional special stages - including the 20.09-kilometre Châtenay - Vaudin - Bannes, the longest stage of the weekend - will bring the total of competitive kilometres to 130.83 before the finish in Langres in the afternoon.
#36 Quentin Ribaud – Melissa Ascensio (J)
#37 Simon Heinemann – Yves Heinemann
#38 Serge Chapus – Mathieu Favreau
#39 Marcel Abad – Carles Cortes (J)
#40 Richard Paget – Sébastien Poujol
#41 Grégory Perrard – François Gilbert
#42 Sébastien Studer – Maude Studer
#43 Jean-Paul Monnin – Sandra Chipaux
#44 John Laroche – Damien Augustin
#45 Yves Blanc – Nicolas Blanc
#46 Éric Royere – Gilbert Dini
(J) : Juniors