Following two extremely competitive rounds, the Clio R3T Trophy France heads to Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie (July 4-6) for the third stop on the calendar. Once again, the battle for the win promises to be wide open before the season heads to its second half.
The competitors have had little time to recover from what was a dramatic Rallye Vosges Grand Est full of twists and turns as the Clio R3T Trophy France returns to action in Rodez!
Lyon-Charbonnières winner Boris Carminati looked like he was on his way for another triumph on the Rallye Vosges Grand Est before his mistake. While he held on to the lead of the general classification, the Montpellier native wants to bounce back on the rally he defeated Florian Bernardi last year to score his first victory in the category.
His rivals made the most of his retirement. Victorious for the first time last time out, Mathieu Walter now trails by just six points and wants to keep the momentum going to make a statement before the summer break. Last year, the native of Vesoul drove strong to finish third on his first start on the tricky Aveyron roads.
In addition to the first two winners of the year, the other contenders will try to add their name to the list of Clio R3T Trophy France winners.
Extremely fast since the start of the season, Romain Di Fante intends to convert his speed into a first win on a rally he has yet to finish! A good performance would see him pull away in the Junior category, where the driver from Nice currently has a slim advantage from Jérémy Jamet and Alexis Frontier. After their respective maiden podium results in the Vosges, both want to do even better this weekend, where the former has already tasted the bubbly in a single-make cup. His rival is, however, a newcomer to this round.
Runner-up on Lyon-Charbonnières before retiring in the Vosges, Dorian Nicolas is also one of the main contenders even though this round was cruel to him during his time in the Twingo R1 Trophy. The list of favourites would not be complete without Ivan Ferrarotti. Fighting for the win in the first two rounds of the season, the Italian will be willing to get the job done in his first appearance in the Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie.
On this notoriously difficult rally, the Gentlemen could make the most of their experience to spring a surprise. Sixth in 2017, Philippe Rageau will be one of them, just like Dominique Patenotte, who will be starting this rally for the eighth time. The mission promises to be more complicated for Christophe Herbelin and Guy Bertrand, who will be making their respective debuts in the Rouergue.
In addition to Dominique Patenotte and Christophe Herbelin, other crews who skipped round two will return to the Clio R3T Trophy France service park. Among them is Cédric Noe, who can count on his four past participations to aim for the podium. Damien Tozlanian will try to improve upon his two top five results in 2017 and 2018, but he will have to battle with outsiders like Spaniard José Javier Pérez, who went off 12 months ago, Charlotte Berton, who finished third here in 2016, and Yoann Lambert, who will be keen to show how much he has improved since last year.
Contested over two days around Rodez, the Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie begins Friday 5 July with two loops of three special stages, which will include the famous Campouriez-Le Nayra test. On Saturday, the field will take on the new Lévezou stage and the legendary Luc-Moyrazes twice before a final test ending in front of the Soulages Museum in Rodez. There will be 208.89 timed kilometres over the 11 special stages and the 640.53kms whole itinerary.
Clio R3T Trophy France – Entry list
#29 Boris Carminati — Marine Lacruz
#30 Mathieu Walter — Thibault Raincourt
#31 Romain Di Fante — Patrick Chiappe (J)
#32 Jérémy Jamet — Michaël Secache (J)
#33 Dorian Nicolas — Chloé Trincald
#34 Alexis Frontier — Julie Vidal (J)
#35 Ivan Ferrarotti — Manuel Fenoli
#36 William Pitot — Romain Brun (J)
#37 José Javier Pérez — Alberto Espino (J)
#38 Cédric Noe – Alex Vignolle
#39 Philippe Rageau — Alexandra Rageau (G)
#40 Damien Tozlanian – Jérémy Pacaud
#41 Yoann Lambert — Maxime Biegalke
#42 Charlotte Berton — Cécile Pages (F)
#43 Guy Bertrand — Karine Gehin (G)
#44 Dominique Patenotte – Valentin Goutel (G)
#45 Christophe Herbelin – Loïc Boudaud (G)
(G): Gentlemen, drivers born in 1974 and before
(J): Juniors, drivers born in 1991 and after