At the end of a spectacular race at Circuit Spa-Francorchamps, David Pouget (GPA Racing) took the win despite being one of 19 drivers in the Clio Cup Europe to receive a time penalty after the finish. The Frenchman was joined on the podium by Marc Guillot (Milan Compétition) and Andreas Stucki (Stucki Motorsport). Nicolas Abella (Chefo Sport) and Horn (GPA Racing) took top honours in the Challengers Cup and Gentlemen Drivers Cup.
While David Pouget dominated all Thursday, Jaap van Lagen (Chefo Sport) took the pole on Friday morning. The Dutchman started race one ahead of the Frenchman, followed by less than a tenth of a second by Anthony Jurado (Milan Compétition), Marc Guillot, Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition) and Thibaut Bossy (TB2S). The Chefo Sport team ran the table in qualifying, with Nicolas Abella and Stephan Polderman setting the best times in the Challengers Cup and Gentlemen Drivers Cup.
In his first start in the Clio Cup, Jaap van Lagen held onto the lead by resisting his pursuers in the first few corners. However, Anthony Jurado got past David Pouget, who soon saw Marc Guillot and Nicolas Milan filling his mirrors. Meanwhile, Tomas Pekar (Carpek Services) overtook Thibaut Bossy for sixth place as Nicolas Abella looked on.
On lap three, Anthony Jurado dove under Jaap van Lagen at Blanchimont to take the lead. Marc Guillot was Johnny-on-the-spot to slot in between the two after getting around David Pouget earlier but the quartet also had to cope with the return of the trio of Tomas Pekar, Nicolas Milan and Thibaut Bossy.
Marc Guillot took the lead from Anthony Jurado on the next lap, but the latter replied two laps later. Jaap van Lagen and David Pouget also moved past the former race leader to set up a final dash, with less than three and a half seconds covering the top ten with two laps to go.
With the help of the draft, Jaap van Lagen maintained his pressure on Anthony Jurado. Even though he lost the back end of the car through the exit of the high-speed Blanchimont corner, the Frenchman regained control of his Clio Cup and kept the lead by cutting through the chicane. Fending off the challengers behind him, Anthony Jurado took the chequered flag but the results changed dramatically due to a slew of track limit penalties that punctuated the race.
Anthony Jurado lost big, dropping to 13th place, but Jaap van Lagen was also penalised and he fell to fourth place. Initially finishing third, David Pouget inherited the victory ahead of Marc Guillot and Andreas Stucki. Nicolas Milan rounded out the top five and was followed by Thibaut Bossy, Tomas Pekar and Nicolas Abella, who won in the Challengers Cup despite the efforts of Jerzy Spinkiewicz (Uniq Racing) and Kévin Jimenez (GPA Racing), who started 17th, but saw his solid comeback drive ruined in a spectacular collision with Jerzy Spinkiewicz on the last lap.
The Gentlemen Drivers Cup results were also modified post-race. After the retirement of Stephan Polderman on lap three, Rene Steenmetz (Chefo Sport) led the race before a penalty for contact allowed Horn to inherit the win.
In the general classification, the race incidents benefited David Pouget, who reclaims the lead from Nicolas Milan while Marc Guillot is getting closer. Thanks to his first class win in 2021, Nicolas Abella moves into the top ten of the Challengers Cup, still dominated by Kévin Jimenez as Horn takes the lead in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup.
In Group C, Marc Guillot led from lights to flag to take the win ahead of Andreas Stucki and Thibaut Bossy to extend his lead in the general classification. Meanwhile, Jerzy Spinkiewicz took the Challengers Cup laurels and is now 55 points clear of the new number two in points, Paul Cocaign (TB2S).
The Clio Cup Europe will be back in action Saturday morning from 10h20 for race two at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. David Pouget set the fastest time in Thursday afternoon qualifying session and will start from pole position in the final race before the summer break.