The Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo welcomes this weekend (June 22-24) round three of the Clio Cup France. Hosting the category for the first time in ten years, Valencia will see the tension rise a notch before the competitors head into the second half of the season.
The Clio Cup France drivers are preparing for an atypical meeting. The first counter clock-wise circuit on the calendar, the 4.005km Circuit Ricardo Tormo offers a variety of fast and technical corners in an arena setting formed by its infrastructures. In this unique atmosphere, the contenders will have to quickly get a handle on the numerous challenges this track poses that necessitate total commitment.
In Cheste, the duel at the top of the order between Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition) and Benoît Castagné (Raiwoit Racing) promises to intensify. The four-time French champion, Nicolas Milan is no stranger in Spain. He won a title on the opposite side of the Pyrenees in 2013. Thanks to his knowledge of the Spanish circuits, he hopes to pull away from his rival who looks to return to the podium after coming up short in Pau.
While the two have pulled away from the rest of the field, their rivals have yet to throw in the towel. Third in the general classification and leader in the Junior category, Anthony Jurado (Setup Racing) wants to continue the strong form he has shown in the Clio Cup. But he knows that Dorian Guldenfels (GPA Racing) and Thibaut Bossy (TB2S) will do everything they can to keep their momentum from Pau going and knock him out of the top three.
There are several outsiders who want to upset the hierarchy that is beginning to take form. Second on this track in the 2015 Clio Cup España, David Pouget (GPA Racing) remains a serious contender, who will rely on his experience to accelerate his climb up the order. In parallel, the Baziret brothers (Setup Racing) and Alexandre Gadois (Autosport GP) will aim for the top five to keep their chances alive.
Victorious in Pau, Pierre-Étienne Chaumat (TB2S) demonstrated the extent of the improvement he has made in his season in the category. In Spain, he Frenchman’s goal is to win again to prove that his win in the streets of Pau was no fluke.
Comfortably installed atop the Junior classification, Anthony Jurado wants to create a gap between himself and the group of chasers that includes Corentin Tierce (Tierce Racing), Adeline Prudent (Prudent Compétition) and Pierre Tierce (Tierce Racing), winner for the first time in the category in Pau. Ineligible to score points, Spaniard Marc De Fulgencio (Team VRT) intends to take advantage of home cooking to win, while Léo Boulay (Autosport GP) hopes to create a surprise in his first outing of the year.
In the Gentleman driver division, Stéphane Auriacombe (Tierce Racing) pulled away from the rest of the field with his two victories in Pau. The Montpellier native knows all too well that he can’t afford an error against his main rivals, Emmanuel Raffin (Autosport GP) and the defending category champion Mickaël Carrée (T2CM). The only man to beat him this season, David Pajot (Vic’Team) shouldn’t be underrated either!
The battles in the field will also be intense with the presence of Lionel Viguier (Pole Position 81), David Bouet (Autosport GP), Guillaume Savoldelli (TB2S), Vincent Brunerie (Milan Compétition), Emmanuel Alliot (Emma Compétition), Jérémy Curty (TB2S), Kevin Jimenez (GPA Racing), Jérôme Da Ros (Tierce Racing), Julien Caussade (Pole Position 81) and Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition). Also on this list is Guillaume Lafond (Milan Compétition), whose Clio Cup España experience could be of use during his first race-weekend of the year.
The start grid will reach forty cars with the Clio Cup España. If Nicolas Milan currently leads in the general classification ahead of David Pouget; Jordi Palomeras (GPA Racing) is still a formidable competitor with at least one win in nine of his eleven seasons in the Clio Cup. Defending champion Alejandro Royo (Team VRT), veteran Maria Suria (SMC) and the ambitious James « JJ » Ross (Bob Ross Racing) could also mix it up in the group of leaders!
Friday June 22 2018
14:00-18:00 – Collective tests
Saturday June 23 2018
9:50-10:50 – Free practice
12:50-13:20 – Qualifying 1
17:00-17:30 – Race 1
Sunday June 24 2018
9:00-9:30 – Qualifying 2
13:30-14:00 – Race 2