Clio Maxi, Maxi Mégane and Clio Super 1600. Three legendary models, which marked Renault’s rally history, will be given new impetus this year with the launch of the Philippe Bugalski Challenge organised over six rounds of the FFSA French Tarmac Rally Championship!
In the 1990’s and 2000’s, Clio Maxi, Maxi Mégane and Clio Super 1600 all excelled on the special stages and are now preparing to return to the service parks!
Three iconic models
Starting this season, these three legends will be honoured with their very own trophy on the most scenic and challenging asphalt roads in France, where they enjoyed much of their success.
As a pioneer of the kit-car concept, Clio Maxi brilliantly defended Renault’s colours on the national and European stages as early as 1995 before the Maxi Mégane did even better from 1996 to 1999, culminating with the 1999 European Championship and FIA 2 Litre World Cup titles.
At the dawn of the millennium, the Clio Super 1600 also became one of the most popular models in the brand’s history. Once again, it was a success with an extensive list of accomplishments wherever it competed, as well as one ERC and two JWRC titles.
A tailor-made calendar
Named in tribute to the late Philippe Bugalski who enabled the "Maxi" to enter in the history books - notably with an astonishing success on the 1996 Tour de Corse - this new competition will take place over six of the most important events in French rallying.
As part of the FFSA French Tarmac Rally Championship, the Philippe Bugalski Challenge will debut on the Rallye Le Touquet - Pas-de-Calais before the crews continue the fight on the Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières-Rhône and Rallye Vosges Grand Est.
The second-half of the season will kick-off on the Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie - the same round where "Bug" scored his maiden victory with the Clio Maxi - before wrapping up with the Rallye Cœur de France and Critérium des Cévennes.
An unique support
Thanks to synergies offered by this joint calendar with the Clio Trophy France Asphalte, the competitors entered in the Philippe Bugalski Challenge will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in an exceptional setting and benefit from the support of the Renault Sport Racing teams.
As such, Renault Sport Racing will welcome the crews to the Clio Trophy France Asphalte service park and guarantee them the technical fairness that is the recipe of success of its competitions and a technical follow-up that ensures the authenticity of these historic models.
The prize scheme will consist of start and result bonuses thanks to the partners of Renault Sport Racing, led by Michelin. At each round, the standard FIA points system will be used to reward the top ten finishers. The four best results will then establish the final general classification and determine the first winner of the Philippe Bugalski Challenge, who will be offered a season-entry in one of the national Clio Trophy held in 2022.
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Benoît Nogier, Renault Sport Racing Customer Racing Director: "We are very pleased to launch the Philippe Bugalski Challenge in tribute to Renault’s exploits in rallying, as well as those of Philippe Bugalski, who was well-known for his unique driving style and his ironclad good spirit. Renault has a rich competition history to which Clio Maxi, Maxi Mégane and Clio Super 1600 contributed significantly to for more than a decade. Even today, many drivers and owners still take great pleasure in competing with these cars that have left their mark on an entire generation. We now offer them a dedicated setting to bring these magnificent cars back to the most scenic roads in France. We hope that spectators will be able to join us as soon as possible in the service parks to come and take a close look at these three models alongside Clio Rally5 and Rally4!"
2021 Philippe Bugalski Challenge calendar
18-20 mars : Rallye Le Touquet Pas-de-Calais
22-24 avril : Rallye Lyon Charbonnières Rhône
11-13 juin : Rallye Vosges Grand Est
8-10 juillet : Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie
24-26 septembre : Rallye Cœur de France
28-30 octobre : Critérium des Cévennes