A look back at this past weekend marked by Jerzy Spinkiewicz’s hat-trick in the opening round of the Clio Cup Middle East while Clio bagged more rally wins and a title on the special stages of Réunion Island!
Clio Cup Middle East
Winner of the first three races in the history of the Clio Cup Middle East at the Dubai Autodrome, Poland’s Jerzy Spinkiewicz took the lead in the general classification ahead of teammate Lin Chen Han, who won twice in the Challengers Cup. Russia’s Stanislav Novikov, who took two podiums, completed the top three, followed by Yashish Manohar from India and Vasily Vladykin from Cyprus. Among the Challengers, Taiwanese Lin Chen Han leads Yashish Manohar and Great Britain’s Charlotte Simmonds. India’s Rahil Taneja capitalised on his consistency to take the lead over the British duo of Kevin Day and Willie Morrison in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup. Round two will take place this week, with two races scheduled on the same track.
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France & Réunion Island
Several Clio Rally4s and Clio Rally5s were in action this weekend in the French Rally Cup. Among the crews that entered, Dominique and Samuel Hoarau finished runner-up in their class with their Clio Rally4 on the Rallye des 1000 Km de la Réunion. As a result, they secured fifth place in the Reunion Rally Championship and the two-wheel drive category title.
Meanwhile, Clio Rally4 and Clio Rally5 both won, with Maurice Brera - Pierre-Alain Forestier and Jérôme Bonnefoy - Cédric Gerber leading the way on the Rallye Hivernal du Dévoluy. Franck Chaput - Gilbert Raygnaud and Eric Sauteur - Cindy Millac did the same on the Rallye du Médoc. Lastly, the Clio Rally5 of Jean-Claude Pietri - Kylian Sarmezan won the Rallye de Balagne, where Clio Rally4 also finished on the podium with Battistu Ceccaldi - Jean-Philippe Battesti.
In Spain, Clio Rally4 and Clio Rally5 also won their respective classes with José Manuel Martínez Díaz - Irene Serrano Granda and Jairo Álvarez Álvaro - Andrés Blanco on the tarmac of Rally Contratas Souto Cangas del Narcea. Thanks to the performance of the first-mentioned crew, Clio Rally4 finished seventh overall.
Clio Rally5 also excelled at the Ceccano Christmas Show in a special trophy where several crews shared the same car. Among them, Sandro Sottile and Marco Nari won the first phase ahead of Piero Longhi - Paolo Avrini and Stefano Bizzarro - Iacopo Innocenti. Then the same model, with Edoardo De Antoni and Martina Musiari, won by less than a second from Matteo Ceriali - Vanessa Lai and Guglielmo De Nuzzo - Mara Miretti after a ten-second penalty for a late check-in on Mattia Zanin and Fabio Pizzol, eventually fourth at 6.5 seconds.
Still in Italy, Marco Zanin and Massimo Moriconi led the way among the Clio Rally5s on the gravel of Rally del Brunello. Yuri Vigilucci and Chiara Corso led a one-two finish for the model at the Ronde di Sperlonga. Lastly, Francesco Foscolo and Alberto Sturiale won their class on Rally di Natale Taormina.