17 January 2022

Pierre Paul Baltolu rises to the occasion in Andorra

Clio Ice Trophy – Round 2 review

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After mixing it up at the sharp end of the order last week, Pierre Paul Baltolu (Naudon Rallye Services) dominated round two of the Clio Ice Trophy. Following his win over B Final winner Dylan Dufas (Naudon Rallye Services), the Corsica native moves to the top of the general classification ahead of Romain Di-Fante (Naudon Rallye Services) and Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Brunet Competition) halfway through the season.

There were several noteworthy changes among the eleven competitors in round two. The second-place finisher in the season-opener, Mathieu Lannepoudenx joined Brunet Competition, as did Spanish driver Alvaro Lobera. At the same time, experienced racers Enrique Hernando and Fernando Navarrete debuted in the Clio Ice Trophy with Driveland while Dylan Dufas and Patrick Chiappe joined Naudon Rallye Services.

Baltolu sets the pace

For round two, the Pas de La Case Circuit at 2,400 metres altitude was a touch longer with a 817 metre-track offering more pronounced corners than last week. Pierre Paul Baltolu set the tone in free practice ahead of Romain Di-Fante and Mathieu Lannepoudenx, with Pauline Dalmasso (Naudon Rallye Services) and Bryan Dufas (Naudon Rallye Services) completing the top five.

Romain Di-Fante dominated the first group in qualifying, but Fernando Navarrete lowered the benchmark time. Pierre Paul Baltolu and Mathieu Lannepoudenx did even better, with the Corsican posting the best overall time ahead of Mathieu Lannepoudenx and Fernando Navarrete in a leading trio representing the three teams entered this weekend. At the same time, Pierre Paul Baltolu also scored maximum points in the intermediate classification totalling the four fastest laps of each driver, this time ahead of Romain Di-Fante, Mathieu Lannepoudenx and the Dufas brothers.

A first for Dufas, Baltolu in dominating form

In the first final, Mathieu Lannepoudenx and Dylan Dufas quickly made it a two-driver battle for the win. Using all the overtaking skills he picked up with Clio RX in the French Junior Rallycross Championship, Dylan Dufas found an opening on the polesitter with two laps to go to win by a whisker. Pauline Dalmasso completed the podium ahead of Enrique Hernando, who had overtaken Patrick Chiappe - usually the co-driver of Romain Di-Fante! - at the start.

Shortly afterwards, Pierre Paul Baltolu quickly pulled away from the field to take an easy win by more than ten seconds in the A Final. Fernando Navarrete finished second despite pressure from Bryan Dufas, who got past Romain Di-Fante on lap two. Alvaro Lobera was fifth ahead of Arthur Bourion (Brunet Competition).

A three-driver battle in the points

With the victory, Pierre Paul Baltolu won the round ahead of newcomer Dylan Dufas and Mathieu Lannepoudenx. He now leads Romain Di Fante and Mathieu Lannepoudenx by six points in the Clio Ice Trophy. The leading trio is widening the gap to their rivals as Bryan Dufas is fourth overall at 30 points to the leader. The four men dominate in the same order the two-wheel-drive championship of the Crèdit Andorrà GSeries before the next round of the season on Saturday 29 January.

For more information, please contact cliotrophy@fr.alpineracing.com or visit cliorally.com.

Pierre Paul Baltolu: This second round of the Clio Ice Trophy went perfectly from start to finish with the best time in qualifying and a perfect final. This trophy is a lot of fun. The track time and the experience you gain are a bonus for the future. It's also a pleasure to compete against drivers from different disciplines, such as Romain Di-Fante, the reigning French two-wheel-drive rally champion, Dylan Dufas, the 2019 French Rallycross champion and Pauline Dalmasso, the 2019 French Women's Rally champion. The atmosphere is outstanding and very friendly, and it is quite affordable. I am now leading the general classification and I will do everything I can to keep the lead until the end. I want to thank Naudon Rallye Services, my mechanics, all the Clio Ice Trophy organisers and all my partners and parents, without whom I wouldn't be here.

ROUND 2 — CLASSIFICATION

  1. PIERRE-PAUL BALTOLU - 40 points
  2. DYLAN DUFAS - 34 points
  3. MATHIEU LANNEPOUDENX - 29 points
  4. ROMAIN DI-FANTE - 25 points
  5. FERNANDO NAVARRETE - 23 points
  6. BRYAN DUFAS - 22 points
  7. PAULINE DALMASSO - 19 points
  8. PATRICK CHIAPPE - 13 points
  9. ENRIQUE HERNANDO - 12 points
  10. ALVARO LOBERA - 12 points
  11. ARTHUR BOURION - 9 points

 

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION (ROUND 2/4)

  1. PIERRE-PAUL BALTOLU - 71 points
  2. ROMAIN DI-FANTE - 65 points
  3. MATHIEU LANNEPOUDENX - 65 points
  4. BRYAN DUFAS - 41 points
  5. PAULINE DALMASSO - 35 points
  6. DYLAN DUFAS - 34 points
  7. BENOIT VERLINDE - 27 points
  8. FERNANDO NAVARRETE - 23 points
  9. KOEN VERLINDE - 20 points
  10. ARTHUR BOURION - 20 points
  11. GUILLERMO MILLAN - 17 points
  12. MARKEL DE ZABALETA - 13 points
  13. PATRICK CHIAPPE - 13 points
  14. ENRIQUE HERNANDO - 12 points
  15. ALVARO LOBERA - 12 points
  16. JONATHAN ARNOULD - 8 points

Introduced in 2022, the Clio Ice Trophy offers spectacular races on ice on the Pas de la Casa circuit in Andorra. As part of the Crèdit Andorrà GSeries, the Clio Ice Trophy draws on synergies within Renault Group, including the experience of Alpine Racing customer racing department based in Viry-Châtillon and the competition department at the Alpine factory in Dieppe. For its inaugural edition, the Clio Ice Trophy will take place over four rounds and as many different track configurations at the same location, where abundant snow and fantastic sliding conditions promise to be the order of the day.

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