For the first time since it succeeded the Renault Mégane Cup, the Clio Cup France will race at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola. On the former San Marino Grand Prix track, the contenders will have to rely on all their abilities to adapt quickly if they want to get the edge in an extremely competitive field following the first meeting of the season.
Imola, which hosted 26 Formula 1 Grands Prix, is one of the rare counter-clockwise circuit on the calendar. This very high-speed track has a few chicanes and hard braking zones, which will test both the cars’ brakes and the drivers’ bravery.
Thibaut Bossy (TB2S) was the only driver to score two podium results at Nogaro and comes to Italy as the leader in the general classification. While the winner of the 2010 Junior category is understandably aiming for his first victory of the season to serve his ambitions, he will have to be wary of the chasing group currently led by Luis González (Team VRT).
Following his thunderous start to his first full campaign in Clio Cup France, the Spaniard now wants to build his lead among the Juniors and take his place among the title favourites. Nogaro race winners, Anthony Jurado (Milan Compétition) and Dorian Guldenfels (TB2S) both want just one thing and that is to do it again to send their rivals a strong message.
Corentin Tierce (Tierce Racing) is among the number of competitors who could race up front. Last year’s Junior champion continued to show progress in taking the pole at Nogaro. Meanwhile, Benoît Castagné (Raiwoit Racing by GM Sport) and David Pouget (GPA Racing), have shown speed, but both have already used up a joker in failing to score points in the first race of the season.
Both would like to get back in the fight as soon as possible in a field where Alexandre Albouy (GPA Racing), Guillaume Savoldelli (TB2S) and Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition) have also shown potential that could let them upset the hierarchy.
The battle among the Gentlemen will be ramping up as Mickaël Carrée (T2CM) is off to a solid start to the season. His goal will be to fend off defending champion David Pajot (Vic’Team) while Emmanuel Raffin (Autosport GP) and Stéphane Auriacombe (Tierce Racing) promised to strike back after their category podium at Nogaro.
Other drivers will be aiming for the win in Italy, like Veenesh Shunker (CVS Auto), who has been on pace since his return. Samuel Raffin (Autosport GP), Samuel Chaligne (SC Sport) and Franck Traynard (Autosport GP) will also all try to reach the podium for the first time to stay in contact with the leader while Jérôme Da Ros (Tierce Racing) will hope to have more success than he did at Nogaro.
After leaving the opening round of the year empty-handed, Antoine Prenveille (Team Prenveille) and Edwin Traynard (Autosport GP) will look to score their first points of the season and close the gap to the Junior category leader, Luis Gonzalez.
Following a solid debut in the Clio Cup France, Jérémy Bordagaray (Borda Rallye Team) wants to continue to score points, while Lionel Viguier (TB2S) and Kévin Jimenez (GPA Racing) will be looking to put their first points on the board. Finally, Emmanuel Alliot (Emma Compétition) will be trying to prove how much he improved on a track where experience will be less important than usual.
Friday May 24
10:35-11:05: Private Tests 1
12:15-13:15: Private Tests 2
15:55-16:25: Private Tests 3
Saturday May 25
10:10-10:30: Qualifying 1
15:00-15:30: Race 1 (25 minutes + 1 lap)
Sunday May 26
9:35-9:55: Qualifying 2
14:20-14:50: Race 2 (25 minutes + 1 lap)