After a little more than a month’s break, the Clio Trophy France Terre returns for the third and penultimate round of the season. The new trophy organised by Alpine Racing is ready to become even more competitive as the race for the title and the official Clio Rally4 programme picks up steam!
Introduced this year, the Clio Trophy France Terre has lived up to all the hype producing lively battles throughout the field, with the favourites and newcomers quickly proving themselves on a surface that was still new to them just a few weeks ago!
Jean-Paul Monnin was the winner in an intense duel with Quentin Ribaud in Langres and heads to Lozère atop the Clio Trophy France Terre general classification. For his third start in this rally, the leader will try to repeat his win and take the first step towards a maiden title in the feeder series. Meanwhile, his rival will try to bounce back on roads that he also knows well and set his sights on a second victory in 2021. With the elimination of the poorest result at the end of the season, a win could give him the psychological edge in the battle to win a Clio Rally4 programme for 2022.
Third in Castine and second in Langres, John Laroche will look to continue his rise to prominence in his first campaign on gravel. At the midway point of the season, the Fun Meca Sport driver is only eight points behind Jean-Paul Monnin and another solid performance could see his team take the title ahead of the season finale at Cardabelles. Marcel Abad has a puncher’s chance too as he aims for his second consecutive podium to put Quentin Ribaud under pressure in the Junior category.
Simon Heinemann and Serge Chapus retired in Langres, which allowed Sébastien Studer to move ahead of them in the general classification. While the Swiss driver wants to take his performance to another level, his two rivals will be out for revenge. Within this trio, Serge Chapus will have the advantage of experience in his seventh participation in this rally where he took top honours in the R3 category in 2014. Meanwhile, this will be the first go for Richard Paget and Yves Blanc on the Lozère special stages and both aim to get closer to the frontrunners to move up the general classification order.
Outside the trophy, Thomas Anacleto - the leader of the Philippe Bugalski Challenge - will be behind the wheel of a Clio Rally4 for the model’s first appearance this season in the French Gravel Rally Championship.
Edition ten of the Rallye Terre de Lozère will be held in the vicinity of Mende. After the shakedown and scrutineering on Friday, the rally kicks off on Saturday with two identical loops of three stages before two runs on Sunday in Allenc and Le Born, the longest test of the weekend with 23km. There will be 142.7km of action on the 367.85km route, excluding recce.
#31 Jean-Paul Monnin – Sandra Chipaux
#32 John Laroche – Damien Augustin
#33 Quentin Ribaud – Melissa Ascensio (J)
#34 Marcel Abad – Carles Cortes (J)
#35 Simon Heinemann – Yves Heinemann
#36 Richard Paget – Sébastien Poujol
#37 Sébastien Studer – Maude Studer
#39 Serge Chapus – Mathieu Favreau
#40 Yves Blanc – Nicolas Blanc
(J) : Juniors