The Clio Cup Series returns this week with 44 drivers representing 11 nations taking to the track. Rejuvenated after the summer break, the Clio Cup Europe, Clio Cup Italia and Clio Cup Mid-Europe competitors return to action at the Red Bull Ring for the eighth meeting of the season and a potentially crucial round for the title hopes of many of the contenders !
Nestled in the heart of the Alps, the Red Bull Ring is one of the favourite tracks on the calendar, with its unique setting and show-stopping layout. The gaps are always extremely close and the races are full of surprises, promising superb battles for the crowns at stake !
The battle resumes in Clio Cup Europe
The Red Bull Ring is the venue for round five of Clio Cup Europe and the battle at the sharp end is about to intensify. With five wins from eight races, Italy’s Gabriele Torelli (Rangoni Corse) aims to extend his lead over his two rivals who have also won this year : Clio Cup Series leader David Pouget (GPA Racing) and defending champion Anthony Jurado (Milan Compétition). The three drivers will also have to deal with the likes of Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition), Tomas Pekar (Carpek Racing), Cristian Ricciarini (Essecorse) and Jerzy Spinkiewicz (Uniq Racing), all determined to excel this weekend to keep their title hopes alive.
Meanwhile, Adrian Schimpf (AST Competition) will defend his lead in the Challengers Cup against Nikola Miljkovic (Tempo Racing Team) after three consecutive wins before the summer break. Their rivals have not yet thrown in the towel, however, as Alejandro Schimpf (AST Competition) and Jacopo Cimenes (Essecorse) will look to get back into contention, as will Mattia Lancellotti (Faro Racing) and Julien Baziret (Baziret Sport), both of whom have already won this season. Guillaume Maio (GM Sport), Damiano Puccetti (Rangoni Corse), Leonardo Arduini (MC Motortecnica) and Ludovico Longoni (MC Motortecnica) will also try to get back into contention as the final sprint approaches.
Racers Cup leader with five wins from six starts, Luca Franca (MC Motortecnica) saw his pursuers Rene Steenmetz (AST Competition), Lionel Viguier (T2CM) and Stephan Polderman (AST Competition) reduce his lead before the break. The Italian will look to increase the gap while his rivals will be keen to continue making up ground. Meanwhile, Andrea Chierichetti (MC Motorsport) will target a return to the top step of a podium, which Daniele Pasquali (Tuder Motorsport), Udo Brenner (LCB Racing), Alex Lancellotti (Faro Racing) and Quinto Stefana (Milan Competition), back for the first time since the Monza meeting, are all aiming for.
Everything to play for in Clio Cup Italia
As it enters the second half of the season, the Clio Cup Italia offers an unprecedented hierarchy, with Racer Luca Franca ahead of Challenger Giacomo Trebbi (MC Motortecnica) and Cristian Ricciarini. Arriving in Austria with a three-race win streak, the leader hopes to keep his momentum, but his rivals will attempt to regain the upper hand. Race-winners Alessandro Brigatti (Progetto E20 Motorsport) and Jerzy Spinkiewicz will also look to get back on track as the season resumes.
In addition to his ambitions in the general classification, Giacomo Trebbi will aim to extend his lead in the Challengers Cup, where Mattia Lancellotti, Alessandro Brigatti and Leonardo Arduini could snatch the points lead in Styria. However, Jacopo Cimenes, Francesco Savoia (Progetto E20 Motorsport), Gianalberto Coldani (MC Motortecnica) and Francesco Pagano (Scuderia Costa Ovest) are all eager to close in on the leaders. The battle promises to be fierce, with Adam Sascha (Sevenhills Motorsport), Federico Danova (Essecorse), Alessio Alcidi (Tuder Motorsport), Ludovico Longoni and Francesco Miotto (Progetto E20 Motorsport) all aiming for a maiden podium.
Luca Franca could close in on the Racers Cup title, but the competition led by Sandro Cutini (Faro Racing) and Due (Oregon Team) will try to reverse the trend. The only driver to have broken the leader’s streak, Alessandro Alcidi (Tuder Motorsport) is keen to do so again, whilst Andrea Chierichetti, Alex Lancellotti and Daniele Pasquali will look to make their mark in a category where former kart racer Davide Gaggianesi (Faro Racing) will make his debut.
First titles in Clio Cup Mid-Europe ?
The tension will be ratcheted up a notch in the Clio Cup Mid-Europe as the competitors embark on the penultimate round of their campaign. With four races to go and with the worst result dropped, there are still several possible scenarios, but a duel between Gabriele Torelli and Anthony Jurado is emerging. After sharing successes, the two men will continue their battle, while Tomas Pekar and Andreas Stucki (Stucki Motorsport) will do their utmost to stay close to the favourites before the final stretch.
Challengers Cup leader Nikola Miljkovic will also try to move a step closer to the crown, but Guillaume Maio and Damiano Puccetti have not yet given up in a category that includes Henrik Seibel (Carpek Racing), Julien Baziret and Daniel Nyffeler (Stucki Motorsport). Eduardo Miranda (Uniq Racing) and Filip Sandström (Carpek Racing) will complete the Challengers contingent, although they are ineligible for points. Lastly, Rene Steenmetz could seal the deal in the Racers Cup, but his team-mate Stephan Polderman will do all he can to regain the advantage ahead of the season-finale at Zandvoort in October.
With a 44-Clio Cup grid, the Red Bull Ring meeting begins on Thursday with the first test sessions. Scheduled for Saturday at 3:05 pm and Sunday at 5:10 pm, the two races will be streamed live on the Renault Clio Series Facebook page and the Renault Clio Series YouTube channel.
Thursday 7 September
13:00-13:27 : Pre-event collective tests 1
16:35-17:02 : Pre-event collective tests 2
Friday 8 September
8:10-8:40 : Collective tests 1
13:00-13:30 : Collective tests 2