During a weekend marked by the first public appearance of New Clio Cup, Milan Compétition drivers Anthony Jurado and Nicolas Milan each won a race full of twists and turns at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. Dorian Guldenfels (TB2S) maintains his lead in the general classification, but David Pouget (GPA Racing) and Nicolas Milan will make it a three-driver battle for the title at Circuit Paul Ricard!
In perfect weather conditions, the Clio Cup France and Spain competitors had two free-practice sessions on Friday. Anthony Jurado set the pace in the morning with a lap of 1:57.085s. Stéphane Auriacombe (Tierce Racing) was quickest in the afternoon with a time of 1:57.922s in a cut-short session after the accident of Will Morrison (Milan Compétition).
RACE 1: JURADO RETURNS TO HIS WINNING WAYS
Saturday qualifying was settled in a five-minute sprint after the incident of Franck Traynard (Autosport GP). Nicolas Milan won the pole in 1:56.975s ahead of team mate Anthony Jurado, Thibaut Bossy (TB2S), Luis Gonzalez (Team VRT) and title contenders Dorian Guldenfels and David Pouget.
Nicolas Milan was quickest off the line to hold onto the lead while Thibaut Bossy overtook Anthony Jurado for second place. The safety car came right after Luis Gonzalez went off at turn two, but returned to the pits at the end of lap two.
Nicolas Milan held position as Anthony Jurado took back second place from Thibaut Bossy at the entry to the Nürburgring corner as David Pouget, Corentin Tierce (Tierce Racing), who started seventh, and Dorian Guldenfels looked on.
Anthony Jurado soon began to pressure Nicolas Milan as they pulled away from the four-car chase group in which Corentin Tierce was continuing his strong run, while Dorian Guldenfels and David Pouget made contact. The leader of the general classification held on to fifth place, but his rival dropped to eighth place.
At the same time, Anthony Jurado got past his team owner and left Nicolas Milan to fend off the return of Thibaut Bossy, who took the position on lap six, but his attack two laps later on Anthony Jurado worked in favour of Nicolas Milan and Corentin Tierce. While Anthony Jurado and Nicolas Milan soon began to pull away, the battle for third place heated up between Corentin Tierce, Thibaut Bossy, Dorian Guldenfels and David Pouget, who was already back in the scrum!
Anthony Jurado raced on to his second success of the season ahead of Nicolas Milan. They were joined on the podium by Thibaut Bossy, who made his final move on Corentin Tierce stick four laps from the chequered flag. Dorian Guldenfels and David Pouget did the same in the final laps, while Guillaume Savoldelli (TB2S) finished a solid seventh place. Long-time leader in the Gentleman category, Stéphane Auriacombe ceded to David Pajot (Vic’Team) and Jordi Palomeras (GPA Racing) on the penultimate lap. Edwin Traynard (Autosport GP) took top honours among the Juniors.
RACE 2: MILAN STAYS IN CONTENTION
On Sunday morning, Anthony Jurado kept his momentum going in taking pole with the fastest lap in 1:56.387s, edging Nicolas Milan by 0.014s. David Pouget and Dorian Guldenfels shared row two on the grid ahead of Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition) and Luis Gonzalez.
At the start, the poleman fended off the attacks of his team mate as David Pouget looked on. Behind them, Dorian Guldenfels and Luis Gonzalez battled for fourth and made contact before they carried on in front of Thibaut Bossy.
On lap two, Nicolas Milan pushed ahead and took the lead as David Pouget too got past Anthony Jurado. Now in third place, Anthony Jurado used the draft to reclaim first place, only to see David Pouget do the same to slot in between the two Milan Competition drivers.
After a few minutes of observing, David Pouget took the lead on lap six, but the leaders stayed tightly bunched with less than a second covering the top three after the first two-thirds of the race. The constant jockeying continued as Anthony Jurado surprised David Pouget at Château d’Eau before Nicolas Milan managed to squeeze by a few corners later.
Matters were settled on lap ten. Anthony Jurado made a mistake that David Pouget immediately seized upon, before taking the fight to Nicolas Milan. The battle for the win also payed into the hand of Dorian Guldenfels. The Alsace native was able to reduce the gap and then get past Anthony Jurado, who locked up his wheels at Adélaïde and plummeted to 14th place.
Nicolas Milan won the final shootout for the win ahead of David Pouget. Dorian Guldenfels completed the podium, while his pursuers Thibaut Bossy and Luis Gonzalez each received a drive-through penalty for not respecting the track limits.
Corentin Tierce was promoted to fourth place ahead of David Pajot and Edwin Traynard, who took the laurels in the Gentleman and Junior categories. Mickaël Carrée (T2CM), Jordi Palomeras, Mathieu Lannepoudenx and Guillaume Savoldelli rounded out the top ten.
In the general classification, Dorian Guldenfels leads the way, even with the dropping of the worst result. The leader has a 26-point advantage from David Pouget and is 61 points ahead of third place Nicolas Milan. The three will race for the title next month at Circuit Paul Ricard (11-13 October). Luis Gonzalez and Edwin Traynard will battle for the Junior crown, while David Pouget and Mickaël Carrée will race for the end of season honours among the Gentlemen.