Hardly fought just until the final leg of the season, the Rallye du Var and Clio R3T Trophy France went to Boris Carminati. Winner in torrential conditions against Dorian Nicolas and Alexis Frontier, the Montpellier native defeated Romain Di Fante to win the final campaign before the introduction of the new Clio Trophy France.
On Friday, the field had to deal with drenched roads and heavy fog hovering over the rally-route of the 65th Rallye du Var. Obliged to finish ahead of Boris Carminati to take the crown, Romain Di Fante won the opening two stages to build a 14.4s lead from his rival, while Mathieu Walter, David Rebotier, Dorian Nicolas, Alexis Frontier and Damien Tozlanian were separated by less than seven seconds before nightfall.
The momentum changed when Dorian Nicolas set best time in the darkness while Boris Carminati closed to within 8.7s of Romain Di Fante at the end of a trying first day, although free of retirements.
On Saturday, four crews completed SS4 before the rally stewards stopped the second leg due to heavy showers. Alexis Frontier was quickest ahead of Boris Carminati, who took the overall lead to build a 9.6s lead from Romain Di Fante. Meanwhile, Mathieu Walter and Pascal Aimé went off the road and the other crews received notional times, except David Rebotier, Damien Tozlanian and David Sauvaigo, who did not line up for the start.
The action resumed on Sunday with Boris Carminati taking another step towards the title in relegating Romain Di Fante to 18.6s heading to the last two stages of the rally as the Plan de la Tour stage was also cancelled on safety grounds. Romain Di Fante then saw his last chance evaporate when he dropped nearly three minutes with a puncture in the penultimate timed sector.
From there, Boris Carminati had a more than one-minute lead from Dorian Nicolas, who was now under threat from Alexis Frontier. The positions stayed the same as Boris Carminati went quickest on the final stage to seal the win, the title and a spot in the 2020 Rallye Monte-Carlo entry list ahead of Dorian Nicolas and Alexis Frontier, who was best among the Juniors.
Romain Di Fante took fourth place to finish second in the general classification as well as claim the Best Performer trophy over the season and the honorary title of best Junior of the year.
Not eligible to score points, Jérôme Joyeux finished fifth in his first appearance in the Clio R3T Trophy France ahead of Philippe Rageau, whose nice comeback drive on Sunday was enough to snatch the best Gentleman spot to Olivier Courtois. Pascal Bérard, Yoann Lambert and Dominique Patenotte completed the list of finishers in the Clio R3T Trophy France on the Rallye du Var.
Renault Sport Racing now turns its focus towards the 2020 season when New Clio Rally will undoubtedly be one of the stars of the FFSA French Asphalt Rally Championship in the Clio Trophy France, which will start with the Rallye Antibes Côte d’Azur (15-17 May, 2020). Renault Sport Racing would also like to express its solidarity with those who have been affected by the weather conditions in the south of France this weekend.
Clio R3T Trophy France – Rallye du Var
1. Boris Carminati — Marine Lacruz 1h15:56.8s
2. Dorian Nicolas — Valentin Sarreaud +1:09.1s
3. Alexis Frontier — Jérémy Gulino (J) +1:21.3s
4. Romain Di Fante — Patrick Chiappe (J) +3:31.0s
5. Jérôme Joyeux — Léa Bernardi (J) +6:34.3s
6. Philippe Rageau — Alexandra Rageau (G) +8:03.0s
7. Pascal Berard — Caroline Berard (G) +8:11.5s
8. Yoann Lambert — Patrick Thierry +8:51.6s
9. Dominique Patenotte — Pascal Deruem (G) +14:23.0s
Ab. Patrick Romano — Patrick Guerrieri (G)
Ab. Mathieu Walter — Thibault Raincourt
Ab. Pascal Aimé — Stéphanie Aimé (G)
Ab. David Rebotier — Jean-Luc Franco
Ab. Damien Tozlanian — Jérémy Pacaud
Ab. David Sauvaigo — Stéphane Maille (G)
NP. Václav Stejskal Jr — Stanislav Viktora Jr (J)
General classification Clio R3T Trophy France
1. Boris Carminati, 127 points
2. Romain Di Fante (J), 98 points
3. Dorian Nicolas, 70 points
4. Mathieu Walter, 48 points
5. Alexis Frontier (J), 48 points
6. Cédric Noe, 38 points
7. Jérémy Jamet (J), 37 points
8. Ivan Ferrarotti, 36 points
9. Philippe Rageau (G), 24 points
10. Olivier Courtois (G), 24 points
11. William Pitot (J), 18 points
12. Guillaume Jean, 15 points
13. Julien Brégeon, 15 points
14. Yoann Lambert, 13 points
15. José Javier Pérez (J), 9 points
16. Damien Tozlanian, 9 points
17. Pascal Bérard (G), 9 points
18. Éric Filippi (G), 4 points
19. Christophe Herbelin (G), 2 points
20. Dominique Patenotte (G), 2 points
21. Václav Stejskal Jr (J), 1 point
22. Charlotte Berton (F), 0 point
23. David Duc (G), 0 point
24. Pascal Aimé (G), 0 point
25. Keana Erickson-Chang (F), 0 point
26. Raphaël Marry (G), 0 point
27. Guy Bertrand (G), 0 point
28. Franck Badel, 0 point
29. Antoine Delaroche-Foucauld, 0 point
30. Mathieu Viscuso, 0 point
31. Willy Mathey (G), 0 point
32. Sébastien Blondel (J), 0 point