Nearly two months after a thrilling start to the season on the Lyon-Charbonnières event, the Renault Clio R3T Trophy France will, for the first time, be part of the Rallye Vosges – Grand Est where the crews will battle for the victory with the first winner of the year, Boris Carminati.
Once again, the Clio R3T Trophy France will be one of the biggest fields of the event with 19 crews competing around Gérardmer.
After getting the edge in his fantastic duel with Ivan Ferrarotti in the opening round, Boris Carminati comes to the Vosges as the leader in the general classification and with the goal of taking another clean sweep to pull even further way from his rivals.
The driver from Montpellier will once again have to contend with Ivan Ferrarotti. While the Italian is about to discover the roads of Eastern France, he will want to forget about his retirement and reduce the 29-point gap to Boris Carminati.
On the first podium of the season after the mistake from Ivan Ferrarotti, Dorian Nicolas and Guillaume Jean hope to continue their solid starts to the season by scoring a healthy point tally. Dorian Nicolas will, however, have a new co-driver, as will Yoann Lambert and leader in the Gentleman category, Olivier Courtois.
While the latter took the lead after finishing seventh on Lyon-Charbonnières, he hopes to put in another strong run on a rally he knows very well despite the presence of his new co-driver Alex Florenson. Éric Filippi, Philippe Rageau and especially Guy Bertrand – who will take part in his fifth Vosges Grand Est – will try to take advantage of this.
Among the contenders for the top spots, Mathieu Walter cannot be overlooked. After leaving the Rhone region empty-handed, the Vesoul native is practically the local driver in a region he has really liked since his R3 victory in the Vosges four years ago.
The battle promises to be just as intense in the Junior category. While William Pitot finished ahead of Romain Di Fante on Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières, Romain Di Fante leads in the general classification thanks to his series of best times on the final loop. The two will once again fight it out on roads they are not familiar with, but they will have to be wary of their rivals, like José Javier Pérez, Alexis Frontier and the recent winner in the R3 category on Rallye National Savoie – Chautagne, Jérémy Jamet.
Former French Female Champion Charlotte Berton and American Keana Erickson-Chang will continue their duel in the Female category. While the French woman had the advantage on Lyon-Charbonnières before having to drop out, she now hopes to use her speed to beat her rival, who is still learning her way alongside veteran co-driver Alex Gelsomino.
The service park will be completed by the return of Frank Badel and Julien Brégeon. While the former wasn’t able to start the opening round, his season should definitely begin this weekend as it will for the winner of the 2006 Rallye Jeunes operation as Julien Brégeon will compete in his first round of the year with his co-driver Clément Bresson, who became paraplegic after a motorcycle accident. Both will try to confirm their flashes of speed seen on some rounds last year.
A French Tarmac Rally Championship round, the Rallye Vosges - Grand Est will be contested from June 14-16 around Gérardmer in the Vosges department. Ten stages are scheduled for a timed distance of 200.59 kms. On Saturday, the competitors will tackle the Mandray (8.49km), Pays d’Ormont (28.47km) and Moyenmoutier (14.2km) stages twice before racing against the clock on two stages twice on Sunday, which will include the longest special stage of the weekend, Vologne (29.65km), as well as Corcieux (19.53km).
Clio R3T Trophy France – Entry list
#28 Boris Carminati — Marine Lacruz
#29 Dorian Nicolas — David Watterlot
#30 Guillaume Jean — Loris Pascaud
#31 Romain Di Fante — Patrick Chiappe (J)
#32 William Pitot — Romain Brun (J)
#33 Olivier Courtois — Alex Florenson (G)
#34 Jérémy Jamet — Michaël Secache (J)
#35 José Javier Pérez — Alberto Espino (J)
#36 Ivan Ferrarotti — Manuel Fenoli
#37 Mathieu Walter — Thibault Raincourt
#38 Alexis Frontier — Julie Vidal (J)
#39 Charlotte Berton — Cécile Pages (F)
# 40 Éric Filippi — Francis Mazotti (G)
#41 Guy Bertrand — Karine Gehin (G)
#42 Yoann Lambert — Étienne Roussel
#43 Philippe Rageau — Amélyne Rageau (G)
#44 Julien Brégeon — Clément Bresson
#45 Keana Erickson-Chang — Alex Gelsomino (F)
#46 Franck Badel — Thierry Devaux
(G): Gentlemen, drivers born in 1974 or before
(J): Juniors, drivers born in 1991 and after