The third meeting on the Clio Cup France calendar saw Anthony Jurado (Milan Compétition) and Thibaut Bossy (TB2S) share the spoils at Circuit Paul Ricard. At the conclusion of two action-packed races, the Montpellier native scored his first win of the season before Thibault Bossy brought an end to the dominance of Milan Compétition, which had won every race in the first half of the season.
On Friday, the competitors were welcomed by Storm Alex that pummelled Circuit Paul Ricard. In these torrential conditions, Milan Compètition monopolized the top four places in the private tests before the only free practice session was cancelled due to increasingly bad weather.
RACE 1: JURADO WINS AN EPIC RACE
While Dorian Guldenfels (TB2S) was quickest in qualifying, a two-place grid penalty for a technical infringement dropped him to third behind team-mate Thibault Bossy and Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition).
Nicolas Milan got the best start to take the lead ahead of Dorian Guldenfels and Thibaut Bossy, but the latter answered back on lap three in a leading group paced by countless overtakes via drafting.
Nicolas Milan reclaimed the position on the following lap before Anthony Jurado, who was eighth when the lights went out, took the lead of the race as the top nine were covered by less than three seconds at the midway point of the race. Once in the lead, Anthony Jurado pulled out a small lead from Nicolas Milan while the battles continued up and down the order as Thibault Bossy lost ground to Dorian Guldenfels and Corentin Tierce (Milan Compétition).
Anthony Jurado held on to take his first win of the year ahead of Nicolas Milan while the tension among those behind kept climbing as the chequered flag neared. After a duel resulting in contact, Corentin Tierce concluded his ten-position comeback to edge out Dorian Guldenfels for third place.
They were closely followed by Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition) and David Pouget (GPA Racing), who came back strong after a chaotic opening lap. 14 years after his last appearance in Clio Cup France, Julien Gilbert (BRS Racing Team) finished seventh ahead of Alexandre Albouy (GPA Racing).
Moving into the lead of the Junior category three laps from the finish, 16-year-old Doriane Pin (GPA Racing) brought an end to the invincibility of Romain Boeckler (BRS Racing Team) while Mickaël Carrée (T2CM) took the Gentlemen category honours while also rounding out the top ten.
RACE 2: BOSSY ENDS MILAN COMPÉTITION’S WINNING STREAK
Anthony Jurado kept the momentum going with the pole position for race 2. With the penalties for Dorian Guldenfels, Romain Boeckler and Corentin Tierce - all deemed responsibles for the contacts on Saturday - the driver from Montpellier started ahead of Thibaut Bossy, Mathieu Lannepoudenx, David Pouget and Julien Gilbert.
At the start, the pole winner held on to the lead against Thibaut Bossy and Mathieu Lannepoudenx while Dorian Guldenfels made the most of an overly ambitious attack from David Pouget at the chicane to move up to fourth place. The two then successfully attacked Mathieu Lannepoudenx before David Pouget retired.
Anthony Jurado and Thibaut Bossy ran nose-to-tail as Dorian Guldenfels reeled them in while the laps ticked off. Their pursuers were not to be outdone as Mathieu Lannepoudenx had to cope with pressure coming from Julien Gilbert and Alexandre Albouy as both of them found an opening on lap seven.
After a bit of a scare on two wheels, Anthony Jurado lost the lead to Thibault Bossy on the penultimate lap. The new race leader kept his rival at bay until the chequered flag to win his first race of the year, while Anthony Jurado survived two contacts with Dorian Guldenfels to finish second.
Following the disqualification of Julien Gilbert, Alexandre Albouy was promoted to fourth ahead of Mathieu Lannepoudenx, Nicolas Milan and Corentin Tierce while on the last lap Kevin Jimenez (GPA Racing) overtook Romain Boeckler, who won the Junior category ahead of rallycross competitor Paul Cocaign (SRD Racing) and Doriane Pin. Meanwhile, Mickaël Carrée fended off the attacks of Laurent Dziadus (Team Lucas) just until the final meters to make it a brace of wins in the Gentlemen category at Le Castellet.
Nicolas Milan still leads the general classification ahead of Anthony Jurado and Corentin Tierce. Romain Boeckler still sits atop the Junior classification while Mickael Carrée is pulling away from the other Gentlemen.
The Clio Cup France competitors will be back in action at the penultimate meeting of their season at Ledenon (November 6-8). In the meantime, some will have the opportunity to battle it out in the Clio Cup Spain at Circuit d’Albi (October 16-18).