Starting second on the grid, Alexandre Finkelstein (GPA Racing) made the most of the battle between David Pouget (GPA Racing) and Gabriele Torelli (Rangoni Corse) before holding them off to claim his first career victory in the Clio Cup Series. The Frenchman, who also won the Challengers category, took his maiden win in Clio Cup France, whilst David Pouget won Clio Cup Europe and Gabriele Torelli won Clio Cup Mid-Europe after a thrilling race at the Nürburgring.
Round seven of the Clio Cup Series at the Nürburgring hosted 36 competitors for the final double-header before the summer break. After battling it out for the fastest time in collective tests under mixed conditions with David Pouget, Gabriele Torelli recorded the best laps in qualifying, first on Friday in 2:22.342s, then on Saturday in 2:22.112s to take his tally of pole positions this season to seven.
The Italian lined up ahead of Challengers Alexandre Finkelstein and Adrian Schimpf (AST Competition). As soon as the lights went out, Gabriele Torelli saw Alexandre Finkelstein pull alongside him, but the poleman maintained the lead in the opening sequence of corners. Behind them, David Pouget and Anthony Jurado (Milan Compétition) gained two positions at the expense of Adrian Schimpf and Tomas Pekar (Carpek Racing) during a lively start throughout the field.
The leading trio of Gabriele Torelli, Alexandre Finkelstein and David Pouget quickly broke away from the chase pack. At the end of lap one, Alexandre Finkelstein attacked Gabriele Torelli at the chicane, but the Italian resisted. Alexandre Finkelstein lost out to David Pouget at the same spot on lap three, while the battles in the top ten continued among Adrian Schimpf, Tomas Pekar, Nikola Miljkovic (Tempo Racing Team), Jerzy Spinkiewicz (Uniq Racing) and Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition).
After a period of observation, David Pouget gradually stepped up the pressure on Gabriele Torelli. At the start of lap nine, the Frenchman went on the offensive with a hard-fought duel. David Pouget took the lead, but the Italian replied on the next lap by diving to the inside at turn three. Alexandre Finkelstein took advantage of this battle to claim the lead while Anthony Jurado and Adrian Schimpf closed in on the three leaders as the final sprint approached.
With David Pouget in hot pursuit on the final lap, Challenger Alexandre Finkelstein kept his cool to seal his first Clio Cup win. The podium was completed by Gabriele Torelli, despite attacks from Anthony Jurado and Adrian Schimpf, who finally snatched fourth place from his French rival. Nicolas Milan gained two positions late in the race to finish sixth ahead of Tomas Pekar and Jerzy Spinkiewicz, whilst Andreas Stucki (Stucki Motorsport) grabbed ninth place from Nikola Miljkovic in the final metres. Fourteenth-placed Jérémy Bordagaray (Milan Compétition) won the Racers Cup.
Alexandre Finkelstein, the sixth different winner this season, climbs to sixth place in the Clio Cup Series standings, where David Pouget extends his lead over Nicolas Milan and Gabriele Torelli.
CLIO CUP EUROPE
David Pouget emerged victorious from his duel with Gabriele Torelli to claim his first Clio Cup Europe victory of the season and move to within 30 points of the Italian, who still leads the general classification. Adrian Schimpf completed the podium and took the lead in the Challengers Cup, thanks to his third class win of the year ahead of Nikola Miljkovic and his brother Alejandro Schimpf (AST Competition). Meanwhile, Rene Steenmetz (AST Competition) won the Racers Cup for the first time by a breath, ahead of Lionel Viguier (T2CM) and Stephan Polderman (AST Competition).
CLIO CUP FRANCE
In addition to his first overall win, Alexandre Finkelstein scored his first Clio Cup France victory, ending the dominance of David Pouget and Nicolas Milan. Third on Saturday, the latter maintains a six-point lead over David Pouget, whilst the day’s winner remains in contention while extending his lead in the Challengers Cup thanks to his victory over Aurélien Renet (JSB Compétition) and Florian Venturi (GM Sport). Lastly, Jérémy Bordagaray was victorious ahead of Lionel Viguier and Laurent Dziadus (Team Lucas) to extend his lead on top of the Racers Cup.
CLIO CUP MID-EUROPE
Winner for the fifth time in seven races this season, Gabriele Torelli extended his lead in the Clio Cup Mid-Europe, where he beat his main rivals for the title, Anthony Jurado and Tomas Pekar. Fifth behind Andreas Stucki, Nikola Miljkovic consolidated his lead at the top of the Challengers Cup thanks to his victory ahead of Guillaume Maio (GM Sport) and Damiano Puccetti (Rangoni Corse). Meanwhile, Rene Steenmetz scored his third consecutive victory in the Racers Cup, where he continues to pull away from Stephan Polderman and Sébastien Gehin (T2CM).
The Clio Cup Series will return Sunday at 11:30 am for the final race before the summer break, streamed live on the Renault Clio Series Facebook page and YouTube channel. After dominating Friday qualifying, Gabriele Torelli will again start from pole position ahead of Alexandre Finkelstein and Adrian Schimpf. David Pouget and Jerzy Spinkiewicz will complete the top five on the grid.