After another action-packed race at the Red Bull Ring, Gabriele Torelli (Faro Racing) holds off the challenges of Anthony Jurado (Milan Compétition) - who started eleventh on the grid - and Challenger Jerzy Spinkiewicz (Uniq Racing). With the misfortunes of a host of contenders, all the titles are still in play heading to the final three meetings of the 2022 Clio Cup season!
Eight days after his maiden pole position in the Clio Cup at Hockenheim, Jerzy Spinkiewicz did it again this Sunday morning at the Red Bull Ring by getting the better of Gabriele Torelli and Marc Guillot (Milan Compétition).
Like last Saturday, the Pole was slow off the line and dropped behind the Italian and the French drivers. In this hectic field of forty competitors, Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition) charged his way from ninth to fourth place, whilst Felice Jelmini (PMA Motorsport) dropped from fifth to thirteenth place after a trip through the gravel. The safety car was brought on the opening lap to allow for the removal of the cars of Alessandro Brigatti (Progetto E20 Motorsport) and Vittorio Zadotti (Scuderia Costa Ovest) from the gravel traps.
The restart was short-lived, with the second safety car period coming just five corners later, after a collision between Nikola Miljkovic (Tempo Racing Team) and David Pouget (GPA Racing) that eliminated the Frenchman. However, there were many position changes, with Jerzy Spinkiewicz’s attempt on Marc Guillot having worked in favour of Gabriele Torelli.
The Italian controlled the attacks of his rivals when the race resumed on lap seven. After an unsuccessful attempt, Jerzy Spinkiewicz had his mirrors full of Nicolas Milan, who was being pressured by Anthony Jurado. The show went on with incredible five-car battles for fifth place won by Felice Jelmini against Marc Guillot, Andreas Stucki (Stucki Motorsport), Tomas Pekar (Carpek Service), Juuso Panttila (Carpek Service) and Gabor Tim (GM Sport).
The leading quartet took advantage of this to pull away. On lap nine, Jerzy Spinkiewicz attacked Gabriele Torelli again, but Anthony Jurado got in between the two as Nicolas Milan looked on. The Clio Cup Europe leader had a complicated end to the race with an over-ambitious move that led him to pass through the gravel. The man with thirteen Clio Cup titles was not out of the woods yet, as he was later given a penalty for not respecting the track’s limits.
Despite continued pressure from his rivals, Gabriele Torelli did a fine job defending his lead from Jerzy Spinkiewicz and then Anthony Jurado in the dying moments of the race. The Faro Racing driver went on for the win ahead of Anthony Jurado and Jerzy Spinkiewicz, who took top honours in the Challengers Cup. After a difficult first lap, Felice Jelmini made his way up to fourth place while Gabor Tim won his duel with Marc Guillot for fifth place. Tomas Pekar came home in seventh place, followed by Cristian Ricciarini (Essecorse), Nico Abella (Chefo Sport) and Jacopo Giuseppe Cimenes (Essecorse). Meanwhile, Stephan Polderman (Chefo Sport) won the Gentlemen Drivers category after a thrilling battle with Quinto Stefana (Milan Compétition).
CLIO CUP EUROPE
After overtaking Jerzy Spinkiewicz with four laps remaining, Anthony Jurado scored his sixth victory in twelve races ahead of the Pole and Marc Guillot. The three men took advantage of David Pouget’s retirement and the problems of leader Nicolas Milan to get back into contention for the final third part of the season. Although he is still chasing a first overall victory, Jerzy Spinkiewicz took his tenth win in the Challengers Cup this season ahead of Cristian Ricciarini and Nico Abella. The Pole will have his first opportunity to clinch the title next month at Monza. Meanwhile, Stephan Polderman won again in the Gentleman Driver’s Cup ahead of Quinto Stefana to further extend his lead in the class, while Horn (GPA Racing) completed the podium.
CLIO CUP EASTERN EUROPE
Despite his remote position on the grid, Anthony Jurado took his second Clio Cup Eastern Europe victory in Austria. Skipping the season-opener in Magny-Cours, the Frenchman will arrive at Monza only 25 points behind Marc Guillot, second today. Third, Tomas Pekar is now the only competitor who can deprive the Milan Compétition duo of the title. Involved in a collision with Cosimo Papi (Scuderia Costa Ovest), Juuso Panttila missed his opportunity to secure the Challengers Cup before the season finale. Sunday winner Lin Chen Han (Uniq Racing) is his only remaining challenger, as Henrik Seibel (Carpek Service) is no longer in contention for the title. In the Gentlemen Drivers Cup, Stephan Polderman again dominated the proceedings, but his teammate René Steenmetz (Chefo Sport) remains well placed in case of a misstep from his teammate at Monza.
CLIO CUP ITALIA
While Felice Jelmini had dominated at the beginning of the season with four consecutive victories in Clio Cup Italia, Gabriele Torelli has taken his destiny in hand following the summer hiatus. The Faro Racing driver, who won overall, has taken advantage of his success among the Italian competitors to take the lead in the general classification with a six-point margin over his rival. Third overall today, Cristian Ricciarini won in the Challengers Cup in a race marked by numerous leader changes ahead of Jacopo Giuseppe Cimenes and William Mezzetti (Progetto E20 Motorsport) to take a slight lead in the category. Lastly, Quinto Stefana won his sixth consecutive race against his closest rivals Daniele Pasquali (Tuder Motorsport) and Due (Oregon Team) to take a step closer to the Gentleman Driver’s Cup title.
The Clio Cup will be back in action at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza from 7-9 October. Always a spectacular venue, the iconic Italian track will host the Clio Cup Eastern Europe final as well as Clio Cup Europe and Clio Cup Italia rounds.