After two exciting opening rounds, the Clio Trophy France Asphalte heads to the Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie (8-10 July). Thirty crews will compete on the third stop of the calendar, where the battle promises to be extremely wide open ahead of the second half of the season.
With two winners and five different drivers on the podium of the first two rounds of the year, the Clio Trophy France Asphalte already proved to be one of the most competitive competitions in the Hexagon.
Vosges winner Romain Di Fante arrives in the Aveyron as leader of both the general classification and Junior category. Second at the event two years ago, the driver from Nice will rely on his experience to widen the gap to the chase group of four competitors covered by just six points. While Thomas Chauffray will look to bounce back after getting stuck in a ditch last time out, Antoine Massé will have the advantage of knowing the terrain well as he makes his sixth start in the rally. At the same time, Styve Juif and Tom Pieri will try to confirm the progress they’ve made, as will runner-up in the Vosges, Benjamin Stirling.
There will be an ever-increasing number of contenders for victory with three former winners of the rally: 2009 French Champion Guillaume Canivenq, 2019 Rouergue winner in the Clio R3T Trophy France Cédric Noé and 2018 Clio R3T Trophy France title-winner Florian Bernardi. For his first tarmac rally with Clio Rally5, Florian Bernardi will reunite with some of his rivals from the Twingo R1 Trophy era, such as the always quick Romain Fostier and experienced Yohan Saillat.
François Fraymouth, Damien Mattei and Maxime Braesch will look to fulfil their potential with a maiden podium. Tom Rensonnet, Jérémy Sarhy, Valentin Ascenzi, Bertrand Blondel la Rougery, Emilien Sanlaville and Julien Pontal will all attempt to accelerate their progress towards the pointy end of the order but they will have to make up for their lack of experience against the likes of Sébastien Rambaud. Former French Junior Championship competitor Hugo Micheli, single-make cup regular Karl-Alexandre Pinheiro, as well as Boris Ruffa and Julien Anthérieu, will also make their first appearance of the 2021 Clio Trophy France Asphalte season.
The entry list is completed by Gentlemen drivers Richard Paget and Dominique Patenotte, who begins his campaign on familiar roads and Female competitors Margot Dupuy and Sarah Filipe, both of whom aim to create a surprise before the summer hiatus. Lastly, former WRC engineer Cédric Mazenq will get back behind the wheel to discover all the qualities of the suspension on Clio Rally5, to which he contributed to the development.
Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie will start on Thursday with the technical checks. On Friday, the crews will take on two identical legs of three special stages separated by a service period. There will be three new stages to be run twice on Saturday. The 12 timed sectors will total 211.96 km of action.
Alongside the Clio Trophy France Asphalte, titleholder Anthony Fotia will contest the second round of his programme with Clio Rally4. After his victorious debut in the Vosges, the Europe Location driver now co-leads the French two-wheel-drive Rally Championship. A second Clio Rally4 entrusted to Mexico’s Alejandro Zavaleta Mauro Sanchez will also be at Rodez.
#44 Romain Di Fante - Patrick Chiappe (J)
#45 Thomas Chauffray - Pauline Vaultier
#46 Antoine Masse - Marc Haddad
#47 Styve Juif - Maxime Biegalke (J)
#48 Tom Pieri - Arnaud Dunand (J)
#49 Florian Bernardi - Loris Pascaud
#50 Benjamin Stirling - Florence Wehrey (J)
#51 Damien Mattei - Marine Pelamourgues (J)
#52 Romain Fostier - Ophelie Abchiche
#53 Cédric Noé – Alex Vignolle
#54 Tom Rensonnet - Renaud Herman (J)
#55 Hugo Micheli - Cyril Laborderie (J)
#56 Maxime Braesch - Loick Andre (J)
#57 Francois Fraymouth - Loic Boudaud
#58 Guillaume Canivenq - Bastien Dumas
#59 Karl-Alexandre Pinheiro - Romain Garel (J)
#60 Jeremy Sarhy - Maxime Vilmot (J)
#61 Valentin Ascenzi - Julien Tramaloni (J)
#62 Sébastien Rambaud - Nicolas Febvre (J)
#63 Cédric Mazenq - Manon Verger
#64 Bertrand Blondel La Rougery - Yoann Raffaelli (J)
#65 Emilien Sanlaville - Amaury Sanlaville (J)
#66 Julien Pontal - Loan Biagetti (J)
#67 Richard Paget - Sebastien Poujol (G)
#68 Julien Anthérieu - Valérie Anthérieu (J)
#69 Boris Ruffa - Raphaël Ruffa
#70 Yohan Saillat - Sylvain Kukulka
#71 Margot Dupuy - Clio Chambelland (F)
#72 Dominique Patenotte - François Heer (G)
#73 Sarah Filipe – Quentin Saxemard (J/F)
(J) : Juniors
(G) : Gentlemen
(F) : Females