18 May 2022

The Clio Trophy France Asphalte to discover Antibes

For the first time since 2017, a rally feeder series dedicated to Renault Clio will be in action on Rallye Antibes Côte d'Azur. On this new round since Clio Rally5 introduction in 2020, 40 crews will battle for the win and the lead of the Clio Trophy France Asphalte.

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After a season-opener gathering 40 Clio Rally5s, the Clio Trophy France Asphalte confirms once again its huge success by welcoming the same number of crews in its service park for round two of 2022. Renault will thus be the most represented brand on the third leg of the FFSA French Tarmac Rally Championship on the Rallye Antibes Côte d'Azur.

Thomas Chauffray will target his second win of the year after his Touquet victory, but the Europe Location driver expects his rivals to make it a tall order. Despite coming up short by just a few seconds in the Pas-de-Calais. Juniors Tom Pieri and Styve Juif will lead the charge despite their lack of experience on these challenging stages.

The unique profile of the roads could suit more experienced contenders. Determined to start his comeback in the general classification, Patrick Magnou is eager to take advantage of his five previous participations in the event. Yann Clairay, Romain Fostier, already victorious on this rally 11 years ago, and Sébastien Rambaud, who finished on the podium for his French FFSA GT Championship debut last week at Magny-Cours, will be others to keep an eye on. Front-runners on the Touquet, Yohan Corberand and Nicolas Hebrard can also contend for the win if they confirm their excellent adaptability skills.

Several Juniors will tackle the rally with higher expectations. Jérémy Sarhy, Louis Myr and Guillaume Bonnet will target their first trophies, while Benjamin Stirling looks to get back on track after retiring from the Touquet. Close to a top ten finish last time out, Calvin Lucas and Pierre Paul Baltolu also want to take a step forward, as do Arthur Pelamourgues, Arthur Roché and Enzo Lucotte. Meanwhile, Théo Apchie look to score his first points after a complicated first round.

Some newcomers will try to disrupt the hierarchy. After taking his marks last year, Valentin Ascenzi will launch his campaign in Antibes, as will former French Junior Rally Championship competitor and 2022 Rallye Terre des Causses RC4 winner Louis Constant. Meanwhile, Yannick Francisci, Benjamin Barnouin, Paulin Valet, Maxence Passaquet and Mathieu Bonche will debut in the Clio Trophy France Asphalte. It will also be the case for Lebanon's Elias Dehnin and Mexico's Patrice Spitalier, who earned an entry thanks to his titles in the NACAM Junior Cup and the Rally5 category of the FIA NACAM Rally Championship.

Women's category leader Marina Breuil will aim for another win over Élodie Gines and Margot Dupuy, who is determined to put her accident on the Touquet behind her. Two fierce competitors will also be competing with Sarah Lattion, who has Clio Trophy Swiss experience, and three-time French Women's Rally Champion Allison Viano. The battle will also resume in the Gentlemen category, where Eric Royère will try to repeat his success in getting the better of Jean-Pierre Lejeune and Dominique Patenotte, who will begin his campaign in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Sylvain Janny will also hope to succeed, but he will have to deal with newcomers Florian Picchioni, Matthieu Suzzarini, and Franck Giraud, who has experience on the Antibes stages.

At the same time, Romain Di-Fante will continue his official programme with Clio Rally4. The driver from Nice will aim for his third category win in as many rallies to increase his lead in defence of his two-wheel drive national title. 2019 French Women's Rally Champion Pauline Dalmasso will also be behind the wheel of Clio Rally4, as will Rémy Rota and Julien Brégeon, 2006 Rallye Jeunes detection operation winner and former Clio Trophy France Asphalte contender.

The 57th Rallye Antibes Côte d'Azur starts on Friday morning with the shakedown before the hostilities kick off on Saturday. Two loops of three special stages, the longest of which will pass over the emblematic Col de Bleine, await the competitors before a super-special in the streets of Antibes. There will be four timed sectors to be run twice on Sunday. Taking in the mythical roads of La Bollène and the Col de Turini, SS10 will be the setting for the Jean Ragnotti Power Stage, which will award bonus points. The 15 stages will total 210.95 kilometres of action on a route of 664.35 km.

Entry list

#33 Thomas Chauffray – Pauline Chauffray
#34 Tom Pieri – Amandine Borderie (J)
#35 Styve Juif – Maxime Biegalke (J)
#36 Patrick Magnou – Anthony Vilanova
#37 Yoan Corberand – Emeline Faivre
#38 Jérémy Sarhy – Loïck Declerck (J)
#39 Louis Myr – Camille Flajolet (J)
#40 Benjamin Stirling – Florence Wehrey (J)
#41 Romain Fostier – Ophelie Abchiche
#42 Yann Clairay – Gilles De Turckheim
#43 Sébastien Rambaud – Alexis Maillefert (J)
#44 Guillaume Bonnet – Cédric Santini (J)
#45 Nicolas Hebrard – Bastien Dumas
#46 Calvin Lucas – Amandine Houry (J)
#47 Pierre Paul Baltolu – Lucas Bellotti (J)
#48 Enzo Lucotte – Candice Desrayaud (J)
#49 Arthur Pelamourgues – Bastien Pouget (J)
#50 Théo Apchie – Aurélie Vedrine (J)
#51 Valentin Ascenzi – Corentin Silvestre (J)
#52 Louis Constant – Mathieu Coppa (J)
#53 Margot Dupuy – Clio Chambelland (F)
#55 Arthur Roché – Maxime Vilmot (J)
#56 Éric Royère – Gilbert Dini (G)
#57 Yannick Francisci – Lisa Marie Vinciguerra (J)
#58 Marina Breuil – Mélanie Tendille  (J, F)
#59 Jean-Pierre Lejeune – Geneviève Arnavielhe (G)
#60 Benjamin Barnouin – Lionel Avon (J)
#61 Sylvain Janny – Mireille Guy
#62 Franck Giraud – Sylvain Guillaume
#63 Élodie Gines – Lisa Tornior (F)
#65 Florian Picchioni – Mélodie Bellavarde
#66 Elias Dehni – Rony Maroun (J)
#67 Allison Viano – Serena Simonpieri (J, F)
#68 Paulin Valet – Fabien Barale (J)
#69 Maxence Passaquet – Michel Damian (J)
#70 Patrice Spitalier – Nicolas Spitalier (J)
#71 Dominique Patenotte – Romain Grande (G)
#72 Matthieu Suzzarini – Sony Postel
#73 Mathieu Bonche – Pierre Boiron (J)
#74 Sarah Lattion – Charlène Greppin (J, F)

After a successful launch, Clio Rally5 is now taking on all surfaces with the Clio Trophy France Asphalte and the Clio Trophy France Terre. With two calendars intentionally independent and complementary to maximise the opportunities for all, each trophy consists of five rounds of the FFSA French Taramc or Gravel Rally Championship. Junior, Gentlemen, Female and Teams categories allow all the contenders to be valorised while enjoying unrivalled technical support and a unique level of equity at this level of the pyramid. A real springboard for the most promising hopefuls, the best Juniors on each surface at the end of the year will be offered an official programme with Clio Rally4.

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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