Clio R3T European Trophy in full swing

Gil Antunes Diego Correia, Renault Clio RS R3T, action during the Ourense rally 2015, Spain. Photo: Roberto Saavedra

The Clio R3T European Trophy moved up a gear in June, with five rallies contested, including three last weekend. The Rallye d’Ypres, one of the international rounds of the Clio R3T European Trophy, was won by Alain Pyrame. The same weekend, Fran Cima took the honours in the Clio R3T Trophy at the Rali Vidreiro (Iberia area) and Olivier Courtois prevailed in the Ronde del Ticino (ALPS area). Previously, Fran Cima had won the Rallye Ourense (Iberia) and Benoît Vaillant came home first in the Rallye National de Bretagne (France).

The start of the season has been most closely contested in the France area Clio R3T European Trophy. The Rallye National de Bretagne (20-21 June), the third round on the calendar, was won by Benoît Vaillant, who reclaimed the lead in the championship standings. Among the frontrunners from the word go, he showed no signs of weakness, and went on to secure a resounding win, whilst also ending the rally third overall and first in the R3 class! Jean-Sébastien Vigion tried to challenge but a puncture on SS5 put paid to his hopes. It was therefore Marvin Sorin who finished as runner-up, ahead of Jean-Sébastien Vigion and Philippe Rageau. In the overall standings, Vaillant (78 points) leads, followed by Vigion (69), Sorin (34), Pitot (15) and Rageau (12). The next round takes the crews to Mazamet for the Rallye de la Montagne Noire (24-26 July).

Last weekend, all eyes were on the Rallye d’Ypres (25-27 June). The famous event was also the second international round of the Clio R3T European Trophy. On narrow, fast roads, Alain Pyrame came out on top. And yet the Guadeloupian driver had not made the best of starts. With his radio not working, he went off on SS1. Thanks to the assistance of some spectators, he was able to get away again. He then saw Frédéricq Delplace retire shortly afterwards and Frédéric Perrard make a fatal error half-way through the following day. Surviving this elimination game, Alain Pyrame held on to win, also taking the lead in the overall standings (56 points) ahead of Frédéric Perrard, who had to make do with the points for the best performer in Ypres (10), and Frédéricq Delplace (2).

In the Iberia area, it has been a busy period as the drivers and teams contested two events in June. The Rallye Ourense (13-14 June) was won by Fran Cima, who had already won the opening round of the season, and then the Rali Vidreiro (26-27 June) produced the same outcome. Fran Cima therefore tripled his points tally in two weeks to establish a dominant lead in the overall standings (90 points). He is trailed by Gil Antunes (21 points), who was in contention for long periods last weekend, before his challenge faded in the second half of the race. João Correia also has 21 points, despite having a torrid time in June. After going off during the Rallye Ourense, his car could not be repaired in time for the Rali Vidreiro.

The ALPS area also held its third event last weekend. After the Critérium Jurassien where he challenged for the lead but which was eventually won by Michaël Burri and the Rallye du Chablais in which bad luck saw him retire on SS2, Olivier Courtois claimed a long-awaited win on the Ronde del Citino. Michaël Burri had nonetheless taken the early lead, but lost a lot of time on SS2, before Jean-Pierre Gatti also lost significant ground on SS3. Olivier Courtois held onto his lead to secure his first win of the season, whilst Michaël Burri collected the points for the best performer. Burri still leads the ALPS area Clio R3T Trophy with 83 points, followed by Courtois (52), Gatti (48) and Toni Buemi (15).

Forthcoming Clio R3T European Trophy rallies:
17-18 July: Rally del Casentino (Italy)
24-26 July: Rallye Montagne Noire (France)
22-23 August: Rallye Ferrol (Iberia)

source: Renault Sport