Getting the nod in what was a fantastic three-way battle for the win on Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie, Cédric Noe becomes the third different winner in as many rounds of this year’s Clio R3T Trophy France, which is a first for the category. The Rodez native starred in his home rally, taking victory ahead of Junior driver Romain Di Fante, who scored his first overall podium result, and Boris Carminati, who still leads the general classification that is more open than ever at the mid-season point.
As was the case in the first two rounds of the season, Boris Carminati jumped immediately into the lead ahead of a group including Alexis Frontier, Ivan Ferrarotti, Romain Di Fante and Cédric Noe.
The Montpellier native then set best time on the longest stage of the rally, Campouriez – Le Nayrac, but Cédric Noe made the most of the third and final test of the loop to cut the lead to 0.9s. The other contenders stayed tightly bunched with Romain Di Fante just seven seconds adrift of the leader, while being closely followed by a chase group led by Jérémy Jamet.
In the afternoon, Boris Carminati created some breathing space on SS4, but Romain Di Fante and Cédric Noe attacked on the final two stages of the day. At the conclusion of the leg one it was now a proper three-way fight for the win with Boris Carminati 3.1s ahead of Romain Di Fante, who in turn was 0.6s ahead of Cédric Noe. Jérémy Jamet held down fourth place since SS2. Alexis Frontier was fifth, ahead of Dorian Nicolas, William Pitot and Mathieu Walter, who moved up one position after Ivan Ferrarotti suffered a puncture on SS5.
Saturday morning, Cédric Noe immediately took the lead, while Boris Carminati also dropped behind Romain Di Fante. The trend continued on the legendary roads of the Luc – Moyrazès stage as the new leader relegated his rivals to more than 20 seconds in the general classification heading to the final loop.
Boris Carminati set best time on SS9 to regain second place, but Romain Di Fante fired back on the second run of Luc – Moyrazès, to narrow gap to Cédric Noe to 10.8s, who stalled at the start, but all he had to do was finish the super-special in the streets of his hometown to seal the victory.
Cédric Noe becomes the third different winner in as many rounds this season. Junior driver Romain Di Fante and Boris Carminati joined him on the podium. Alexis Frontier and Dorian Nicolas completed the top five after a problem for Jérémy Jamet on the penultimate stage, but he did hold off Mathieu Walter for just 0.3s. Ivan Ferrarotti, William Pitot and Damien Tozlanian scored the remaining points ahead of Female category winner Charlotte Berton and Gentleman driver Philippe Rageau, who were also in the hunt up until the Musée Soulages stage.
Boris Carminati now has a ten-point lead from new number two in the general classification, Romain Di Fante. Thanks to a maximum point tally with the win and five bonus points for best performer, Cédric Noe is another point behind in third, but Mathieu Walter, Alexis Frontier, Dorian Nicolas, Jérémy Jamet and Ivan Ferrarotti remain in contention before round four, Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine on September 5-7.
Cédric Noe : “This victory is just amazing, because we put in so much work just to be able to start our home round in the best possible conditions. We knew that we would be in contention on these roads that we know particularly well, but we wanted to give ourselves everything we needed to battle for the win. This success proves that all our work has paid off and it is the best way to thank all of our partners. Competition wise, it was a great rally with battles up and down the field. No matter your driving level, there is always someone to battle with in the Clio R3T Trophy France, which is one of the most interesting aspects of this category.”
Clio R3T Trophy France – Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie
1. Cédric Noe – Alex Vignolle 2h05:43.4s
2. Romain Di Fante — Patrick Chiappe (J) +7.5s
3. Boris Carminati — Marine Lacruz +16.1s
4. Alexis Frontier — Julie Vidal (J) +1:36.6s
5. Dorian Nicolas — Chloé Trincald +1:42.7s
6. Jérémy Jamet — Michaël Secache (J) +2:46.3s
7. Mathieu Walter — Thibault Raincourt +2:46.6s
8. Ivan Ferrarotti — Manuel Fenoli +3:14.1s
9. William Pitot — Romain Brun (J) +3:36.0s
10. Damien Tozlanian – Jérémy Pacaud +5:37.4s
11. Charlotte Berton — Cécile Pages (F) +6:01.4s
12. Philippe Rageau — Alexandra Rageau (G) +6:03.2s
13. Dominique Patenotte – Valentin Goutel (G) +45:42.5s
14. Christophe Herbelin – Loïc Boudaud (G) +4h33:54.0s
Ret. José Javier Pérez — Alberto Espino (J)
Ret. Guy Bertrand — Karine Gehin (G)
Ret. Yoann Lambert — Maxime Biegalke
Clio R3T Trophy France standings
1. Boris Carminati, 49 points
2. Romain Di Fante (J), 39 points
3. Cédric Noe, 38 points
4. Mathieu Walter, 31 points
5. Alexis Frontier (J), 30 points
6. Dorian Nicolas, 28 points
7. Jérémy Jamet (J), 27 points
8. Ivan Ferrarotti, 20 points
9. Olivier Courtois (G), 16 points
10. Guillaume Jean, 15 points
11. William Pitot (J), 14 points
12. José Javier Pérez (J), 9 points
13. Julien Brégeon, 6 points
14. Philippe Rageau (G), 4 points
15. Damien Tozlanian, 3 points
16. Yoann Lambert, 1 point
17. Charlotte Berton (F), 0 point
18. Éric Filippi (G), 0 point
19. Václav Stejskal Jr (J), 0 point
20. Dominique Patenotte (G), 0 point
21. Keana Erickson-Chang (F), 0 point
22. Christophe Herbelin (G), 0 point
23. Pascal Bérard (G), 0 point
24. Raphaël Marry (G), 0 point
25. Guy Bertrand (G), 0 point
26. Franck Badel, 0 point
27. Antoine Delaroche-Foucauld, 0 point