08 May 2022

Nicolas Milan takes control at Imola

Already a winner in Clio Cup France at Nogaro, Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition) put his first Clio Cup Europe victory on the board in race one at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola. The Frenchman won ahead of Challenger Jerzy Spinkiewicz (Uniq Racing) and poleman David Pouget (GPA Racing) in a hard-fought battle where Felice Jelmini (PMA Motorsport) also won the first race in Clio Cup Italia.

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Like the pinnacle of motorsport a fortnight ago, the Clio Cup was welcomed by rain on Friday. Marc Guillot (Milan Competition) and Nicolas Milan were the quickest in these conditions, sharing the best times in practice, but David Pouget was the most skilful in the dry, claiming pole position from Marc Guillot. Challenger Jerzy Spinkiewicz put in a strong run, finishing third ahead of Nicolas Milan and Anthony Jurado (Milan Compétition).

At the start, David Pouget controlled Marc Guillot's attacks until the latter went wide at the exit of the Villeneuve Variante. Nicolas Milan inherited second place ahead of Jerzy Spinkiewicz and Gabriele Torelli (Faro Racing). However, the safety car came on track after two incidents. The first eliminated Nico Abella (Chefo Sport), William Mezzetti (Progetto E20 Motorsport) and Damiano Puccetti (PMA Motorsport), who was deemed to be responsible and received a six-place penalty on Sunday's grid. The other involved Alex Lahoz (Cotauto Motorsport) and Andrea Argenti (SI Racing Team).

David Pouget pulled out a lead from the chase group at the restart, but they quickly ran him down. Meanwhile, Anthony Jurado rejoined the leading quartet by freeing himself from the pressure coming from Gabriele Torelli, who, in turn, was under pressure from Lorenzo Nicoli (Progetto E20 Motorsport) until the latter ended up making a mistake.

The action intensified as the race progressed. Anthony Jurado was the first to go on the offensive with an overtake on Jerzy Spinkiewicz for third place, whilst Felice Jelmini surprised Gabriele Torelli to move into the top five. The battle at the front also heated up as Nicolas Milan and Anthony Jurado used the slipstream to move past race leader David Pouget. Jerzy Spinkiewicz did the same a few corners later, before another safety car period due to the incident that saw Horn (GPA Racing) and Yeraly Ospanov (Milan Competition) retire.

The race was red-flagged before the last lap as the track time limit expired. Nicolas Milan sealed his victory while Anthony Jurado received a 25-second penalty for passing another competitor before the authorised line at the restart. Challenger Jerzy Spinkiewicz was promoted to the second step of the podium ahead of David Pouget. Italians Felice Jelmini and Gabriele Torelli were next in the finishing order, followed by Marc Guillot, who recovered well after his mistake at the start. Frenchmen Guillaume Maio (GM Sport) and Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition), Italian Giacomo Trebbi (MC Motortecnica) and Finn Juuso Panttila (Carpek Service) completed the top ten.

CLIO CUP EUROPE

As the top three are all entered in Clio Cup Europe, Nicolas Milan took his first victory of 2022 in this group ahead of Jerzy Spinkiewicz. While beating David Pouget in the overall classification, the Pole also won the Challengers Cup ahead of Guillaume Maio and Mathieu Lannepoudenx, who took advantage of Lorenzo Nicoli's mistake. Leader in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup for most of the race, Rene Steenmetz (Chefo Sport) lost heavily in a collision at the end of the race, which left his teammate Stephan Polderman (Chefo Sport) inherit the win ahead of Quinto Stefana (Milan Compétition) and Luciano Gioia (Essecorse).

The race in the general classification is now back on track as Marc Guillot now leads Clio Cup Europe by one point ahead of Nicolas Milan, while David Pouget, Jerzy Spinkiewicz and Anthony Jurado are right on their heels. With his third success in three starts, Jerzy Spinkiewicz widens the gap over Mathieu Lannepoudenx and Guillaume Maio in the Challengers Cup. Quinto Stefana (Milan Competition) takes the lead in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup ahead of Rene Steenmetz and Stephan Polderman.

CLIO CUP ITALIA

Gabriele Torelli, who took the first pole position of the season in Clio Cup Italia, soon found himself under pressure from his rivals. While Lorenzo Nicoli failed to find an opening, Felice Jelmini succeeded and became the first leader of the year. The podium was completed by Challengers Cup winner Giacomo Trebbi, ahead of Cosimo Papi (Scuderia Costa Ovest) and Cristian Ricciarini (Essecorse). Lastly, first place in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup went to Vittorio Zadotti (Scuderia Costa Ovest), who took the lead from Andrea Cordini (Oregon Team) as Quinto Stefana looked on in the closing laps.

The Clio Cup Europe contenders will be back in action Sunday morning for qualifying at 10 am and race two of the weekend, scheduled to start at 4:30 pm. The race will be streamed live on the Renault Clio Series Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Collective tests 1 - Collective tests 2 - Qualifying 1 - Race 1 - Clio Cup Europe - Clio Cup Italia

Since the launch of the R8 Gordini Cup in 1966, Renault has maintained a continuous presence on circuits around the world. Several thousand Clio Cups have been sold since 1991, and all five generations have been recognised for their performance, reliability and affordability. With its experience in promotional formulas and one-make series, Renault provides its savoir-faire and expertise to professionals and amateurs by offering a modern product adapted to their needs. In 2022, the Clio Cup will be in action in the Clio Cup Europe but also in Clio Cup France, Clio Cup Spain, Clio Cup Italia and Clio Cup Eastern Europe, thanks to an innovative calendar opening up numerous opportunities for competitors from all backgrounds: experienced drivers, Challengers and Gentlemen Drivers!

Renault, a historic mobility brand and pioneer of electric vehicles in Europe, has always developed innovative vehicles. With the ‘Renaulution’ strategic plan, Renault has embarked on an ambitious, value-generating transformation moving towards a more competitive, balanced and electrified range. Its ambition is to embody modernity and innovation in technology, energy and mobility services in the automotive industry and beyond.

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