The first appearance of the Clio R3T Trophy France in the Rallye Vosges – Grand-Est lived up to all its promise in a weekend full of twists and turns. After six leader changes in ten special stages, Mathieu Walter scored his maiden win in the category. Despite retiring, Boris Carminati still leads the general classification, which is wide-open heading to the Rouergue round.
Right from the first action Saturday morning, the battle was already on the boil with the top four, led by Romain Di Fante, covered by less than a second at the conclusion of the 8.49km Mandray stage!
Boris Carminati then went on the offensive, setting best time on Pays d’Ormont and Moyenmoutier to head to the service area with a 15.8s lead from Mathieu Walter, who finished runner-up on both runs, and 18.5s ahead of Ivan Ferrarotti.
After a sub-par performance that dropped him to seventh, Romain Di Fante came roaring back, setting best time on the three afternoon stages. Meanwhile, Boris Carminati went off the road on the second run of Pays d’Ormont and Ivan Ferrarotti made the most of his consistency to take the lead despite not winning a single special stage.
At the end of the first leg, the Italian had a 15.8s advantage over Romain Di Fante. Mathieu Walter was another 2.7s back in third place, while Dorian Nicolas, Jérémy Jamet and Guillaume Jean stayed in contact at less than a minute behind the leader.
Ivan Ferrarotti got his Sunday off to an ideal start with best time on the longest stage of the weekend, Vologne, where Romain Di Fante lost more than four minutes and Dorian Nicolas retired. The Italian driver pushed his advantage to 29.0s from Mathieu Walter and more than a minute from Guillaume Jean, who hit a wall on Corcieux. At the end of this stage it was Mathieu Walter a top the order by 4.1s!
Ivan Ferrarotti quickly responded, posting the time to beat, by more than 30 seconds, on the repeat run on Vologne. The Italian looked to be on his way to victory… But a puncture in the final kilometers cost him more than three minutes, allowing Mathieu Walter to take first place!
Winner for the first time in the Clio R3T Trophy France, Mathieu Walter was joined on the podium by Junior drivers Alexis Frontier and Jérémy Jamet. While the latter can regret not taking top honours in his category with a 40-second penalty for checking in late on SS1, he finished in style with his first scratch time on SS10.
Ivan Ferrarotti was eventually fourth, ahead of Gentleman category winner, Olivier Courtois in his first rally with Alex Florenson to his right. José Javier Pérez was sixth with Julien Brégeon hanging on for seventh by just one second from Philippe Rageau while Romain Di Fante and Yoann Lambert completed the top ten ahead of the first female Charlotte Berton, Éric Filippi and Keanna Erickson-Chang.
Despite retiring, Boris Carminati still leads the general classification and picked up one best performer bonus point for his two Saturday scratch times. The race for the title remains very much up in the air with Mathieu Walter six points adrift from the leader and five ahead of third place Romain Di Fante, the leader of a group of seven drivers separated by five points heading to Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie (July 4-6 July).
Mathieu Walter : “This victory feels really good, especially as it is kind of our home rally. This result lets us thank all of our partners, families and friends that are here with us. We ran this event last year and we knew that it is extremely tricky. Our strategy was to adopt a steady but especially consistent pace, as each loop had its share of twists and turns except the first one. We managed to avoid the pitfalls and this win gets us back in the championship contention even though we used our joker on Lyon-Charbonnières. There is still a long way to go in the season and we will have to show our speed every time at the finish as the level of competition is extremely solid this year.”
Clio R3T Trophy France – Rallye Vosges - Grand Est
1. Mathieu Walter — Thibault Raincourt 2h05:59.9s
2. Alexis Frontier — Julie Vidal (J) +1:24.6s
3. Jérémy Jamet — Michaël Secache (J) +1:47.0s
4. Ivan Ferrarotti — Manuel Fenoli +2:37.2s
5. Olivier Courtois — Alex Florenson (G) +2:58.5s
6. José Javier Pérez — Alberto Espino (J) +3:37.3s
7. Julien Brégeon — Clément Bresson +4:32.8s
8. Philippe Rageau — Amélyne Rageau (G) +4:33.8s
9. Romain Di Fante — Patrick Chiappe (J) +6:49.3s
10. Yoann Lambert — Etienne Roussel +10:32.4s
11. Charlotte Berton — Cécile Pages (F) +10 :58.7s
12. Éric Filippi — Francis Mazotti (G) +13:20.9s
13. Keana Erickson-Chang — Alex Gelsomino (F) +25:50.7s
Dnf. Guillaume Jean — Loris Pascaud
Dnf. William Pitot — Romain Brun (J)
Dnf. Dorian Nicolas — Chloé Trincald
Dnf. Boris Carminati — Marine Lacruz
Dnf. Guy Bertrand — Karine Gehin (G)
Dnf. Franck Badel — Thierry Devaux
General classification Clio R3T Trophy France
1. Boris Carminati, 31 points
2. Mathieu Walter, 25 points
3. Romain Di Fante (J), 20 points
4. Jérémy Jamet (J), 19 points
5. Alexis Frontier (J), 18 points
6. Dorian Nicolas, 18 points
7. Olivier Courtois (G), 16 points
8. Ivan Ferrarotti, 16 points
9. Guillaume Jean, 15 points
10. William Pitot (J), 12 points
11. José Javier Pérez (J), 9 points
12. Cédric Noe, 8 points
13. Julien Brégeon, 6 points
14. Philippe Rageau (G), 4 points
15. Damien Tozlanian, 2 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. Keana Erickson-Chang (F), 0 point
21. Pascal Bérard (G), 0 point
22. Dominique Patenotte (G), 0 point
23. Raphaël Marry (G), 0 point
24. Guy Bertrand (G), 0 point
25. Christophe Herbelin (G), 0 point
26. Franck Badel, 0 point
27. Antoine Larochefoucauld (G), 0 point