23 January 2023
Customer Racing Activities – 2023/#3
Clio Rally5 claimed its 13th victory in 15 world championship appearances this weekend and its third consecutive win in the Principality whilst the inaugural Clio Cup Middle East season concluded in Yas Marina.
Clio Cup Middle East
Clio Cup Middle East title-winner Jerzy Spinkiewicz continued his incredible run with his 11th pole position and 11th win in race one at the Yas Marina Circuit. Meanwhile, Lin Chen Han and Ahmed Al Melaihi sealed their titles by dominating respectively in the Challengers Cup and Gentlemen Drivers Cup. The last race of the calendar was full of surprises though, with Yashish Manohar’s maiden pole and first overall win ahead of Stanislav Novikov and Chen Han Lin. Jerzy Spnkiewicz saw his hopes of a grand slam disappear in an incident on the opening lap. The Indian driver also won the Challengers Cup and secured third place overall, while German Alex Renner won the Gentlemen Drivers class. This round marked the end of the inaugural Clio Cup Middle East season, where 19 drivers competed across the five meetings in Dubai and Yas Marina.
Six crews entered the iconic Monegasque event to try to give Clio Rally5 its 13th victory in 15 appearances in the World Rally Championship and its third consecutive RC5 success in the Principality. Among the competitors who put their trust in the Renault model, the pairing of Nicolas Ressegaire and Marina Micheli immediately took the lead. Despite a ten-second penalty for jumping the start on SS4 and the pressure put on them by Jérémy Prat and Yves Semete, who set eight fastest times in the category, Nicolas Ressegaire won by 27.8 seconds ahead of their rivals and several four-wheel drive cars. The podium was completed by the duo of Julien Charnay and Maxime Gomez as all six cars finished to once again combine success with reliability.
This week, the Clio Ice Trophy will resume for the second of the four meetings on the calendar. David Bouet, the leader at the end of the first round, will aim to extend his lead on a new layout of the Circuit du Pas de la Case. His pursuers, led by Enzo Lucotte, Dylan Dufas and Joaquin Rodrigo, will look to take the lead at the midway point of the season. More contenders will also make their first appearance of the season. Three Clio Rally5s are entered for the Ronde Régionale du Jura (27-28 January).