At the end of a breathtaking lights-to-flag race, Marc Guillot (Milan Compétition) took his first win of the season by less than a second from David Pouget (GPA Racing), Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition) and Thibaut Bossy (TB2S). Kévin Jimenez (GPA Racing) won again in the Challengers Cup while Laurent Dziadus (Team Lucas) was victorious in Gentlemen Drivers Cup to complete the list of winners of this event supporting the Formula 1 Emirates Grand Prix de France at Circuit Paul Ricard.
The starting grid for race two was determined in Friday’s first qualifying session. David Pouget set off from pole ahead of Nicolas Milan, Marc Guillot, Kévin Jimenez and Thibaut Bossy.
When the lights went dark, David Pouget kept Nicolas Milan behind him at turn one. From P3 on the grid, Marc Guillot got around Nicolas Milan and left his team boss to battle with Kévin Jimenez. Thibaut Bossy held on to fifth place while Eric Zabala (Team VRT) got around Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition) before dropping to tenth place.
On lap two, Marc Guillot dropped the hammer to take the lead from David Pouget, who returned the favour on the following lap as Nicolas Milan looked on. The three leaders pulled away as the laps ticked off while the battles throughout the field were raging. Alejandro Schimpf (Cota Automoción) was one of the victims and his retirement brought out the safety car.
Marc Guillot nailed the restart, overtaking David Pouget at the braking zone for the Chicane Nord but his rival was back in the lead a few corners later. Their duel worked into the plans of Nicolas Milan and Thibault Bossy, who joined the fray to set up an intense final sprint.
In this four-car battle, Nicolas Milan moved into second place before surprising David Pouget with two laps to go. David Pouget tried to answer back on the Mistral straight, but the mano-a-mano between the two Clio Cup Europe leaders allowed Marc Guillot to make it three abreast. With a push from Thibault Bossy, the Burgundy native took the lead for good in the Signes sweeper.
Marc Guillot took the chequered flag with a 0.670s margin of victory over the trio of David Pouget, Nicolas Milan and Thibaut Bossy - despite an issue in the final straight - crossed the finish line three-wide covered by just 0.082s.
Behind this quartet, the victory in the Challengers Cup, which was just as competitive. Kévin Jimenez led but got loose coming out of Signes on lap 2. Mathieu Lannepoudenx inherited the lead but saw his rival fill up his rear-view mirrors after the safety car period before finding his way past two laps from the end. With a solid drive, Jerzy Spinkiewicz (Uniq Racing) completed the podium ahead of Mickaël Carrée (T2CM) and Paul Cocaign (TB2S).
In the Gentlemen Drivers Cup, Florent Grizaud (GPA Racing) dominated early on before Lionel Viguier (TB2S) took advantage of the various battles. Contact with two other rivals in the final few corners allowed Laurent Dziadus to snatch away the victory for 0.2s. Javier Cicuendez (Team VRT) joined them on the category podium.
David Pouget retakes the lead in the general classification for five points from Nicolas Milan, while Marc Guillot slots into third place following his maiden success of 2021. Kévin Jimenez extends his lead in the Challengers Cup while Laurent Dziadus moves back to the sharp end of the order in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup.
The next round of the Clio Cup Europe will take the field to Budapest as many drivers are ready to discover the Hungarian Grand Prix host, the Hungaroring (9-11 July), for the seventh meeting on the calendar.