With two wins at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino di Imola, Dorian Guldenfels (TB2S) takes command of the general classification in the Clio Cup France. The 2017 Junior category winner was joined on the podium by team mates Thibaut Bossy on Saturday, and Guillaume Savoldelli on Sunday. Luis Gonzalez (Team VRT) and Edwin Traynard (Autosport GP) also finished in the top three in Italy.
Delighted to discover the legendary Italian track, the competitors spent Friday learning all of its tricks. After dominating two of the three private tests sessions, Dorian Guldenfels set best time of the day in 2:03.016s ahead of Guillaume Savoldelli and David Pouget (GPA Racing).
RACE 1: TB2S DOUBLES UP
Interrupted by the half-flip of Kevin Jimenez (GPA Racing), qualifying session one went the way of Corentin Tierce (Tierce Racing), who was followed by Luis Gonzalez, Dorian Guldenfels, Thibaut Bossy and Anthony Jurado (Milan Compétition). Proof of just how tight the competition is, the first nine drivers were covered by just over a third of a second!
Corentin Tierce put in a good start to hold onto the lead ahead of Luis Gonzalez and Dorian Guldenfels. Thibaut Bossy was fourth, while Anthony Jurado dropped down to ninth place behind David Pouget, Edwin Traynard, Guillaume Savoldelli and Benoit Castagné (Raiwoit Racing by GM Sport).
On lap two, Dorian Guldenfels pushed and surprised Luis Gonzalez. Two laps later, he overtook race leader Corentin Tierce and then pulled away as his two victims battled amongst themselves. Thibaut Bossy sized the opportunity in passing the two one after another in order to set off after his team mate.
After closing up, Thibault Bossy began to constantly pressure Dorian Guldenfels, but he didn’t crack against his team director and forced him to settle for a third podium result in as many races this season. Luis Gonzalez moved up to third place at half distance and went on for another podium finish while continuing his dominance in the Junior category.
Corentin Tierce finished fourth ahead of David Pouget and Benoit Castagné, who was in contention for the podium before he committed an error that cost him two positions. Edwin Traynard was seventh ahead Gentleman category winner David Pajot (Vic’Team) and Guillaume Savoldelli. After finishing qualifying in the gravel, Matthieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition) drove a strong race to finish in the top ten.
RACE 2: GULDENFELS MAKES IT A SWEEP
On Sunday, Luis Gonzalez scored his first pole position on a soaked track with a time of 2:14.997s ahead of David Pouget, Anthony Jurado, Dorian Guldenfels and Benoit Castagné.
Just prior to the start, a huge storm over a section of the circuit made the challenge that much more difficult for the competitors with a mix of conditions. Faced with this dilemma, many of the drivers came in for slick tyres at the end of the installation lap. Among the top five from qualifying, only Dorian Guldenfels lined up on the grid!
After three laps behind the safety car, the field was let go with Dorian Guldenfels in the lead ahead of Guillaume Savoldelli and Thibaut Bossy. Further back, Alexandre Albouy (GPA Racing) surprised Mickaël Carrée (T2CM) to move into fourth place as Corentin Tierce and Edwin Traynard looked on.
Safety car was back on track to extricate the Clio Cup of Jérôme Da Ros (Tierce Racing) from the gravel and wiped out the gap built by the TB2S trio, but the positions remained the same when the race resumed.
In the tightening leading group of six drivers, Edwin Traynard was on a charge. After making quick work of Corentin Tierce, he then moved past Mickaël Carrée and Alexandre Albouy before overtaking Thierry Bossy two laps from the chequers and threatened Guillaume Savoldelli, who was closing in on the race leader.
The race order was definitively locked in with the last safety car period caused by Emmanuel Raffin (Autosport GP). Dorian Guldenfels went on for his third successive victory of the season ahead of Guillaume Savoldelli and Edwin Traynard, who won in the Junior category and also claimed his first podium in the Clio Cup France.
Thibault Bossy was fourth ahead of Gentleman category winner Mickaël Carrée, as well as Alexandre Albouy, Franck Traynard (Autosport GP), Lionel Viguier (TB2S) and Veenesh Shunker (CVS Auto). First among the drivers who gambled with slick tyres, Anthony Jurado completed the top ten.
Dorian Guldenfels now has a seven-point lead from Thibault Bossy in the general classification. Still leading among the Juniors, Luis Gonzalez is third overall at 37 points to Guldenfels. Mickael Carrée stretched his lead in the Gentleman category to 10 points from David Pajot and 18 from Emmanuel Raffin.
Round three on the 2019 calendar will see the Coupe de France FFSA Renault Clio Cup drivers head to the Circuit de Lédenon on July 5-7. The second half of the season will begin with a round at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, then Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours and Circuit Paul Ricard.