The Clio Cup kicks off its second half of the season this week with a trip to the most eastern circuit on its calendar, the Hungaroring. The home of the Hungarian Grand Prix and its scorching conditions promise to raise the tension a few notches with a field representing no less than 13 nationalities throughout Clio Cup Europe and Clio Cup Eastern Europe.
Round eight potentially could be decisive for the rest of the campaign and its numerous title fights. With 26 drivers, all with their own targets and no room for mistake, the action promises to be intense on a track conducive to fantastic battles, as Gabriele Torelli demonstrated with his incredible comeback drive last year !
Clio Cup Europe : in pursuit of Milan Competition !
Undefeated so far this season in Clio Cup Europe, the Milan Compétition team will arrive in Hungary in a strong position as three of its drivers monopolise the top three places in the general classification. With three wins apiece, Nicolas Milan and Anthony Jurado will be among the favourites, as will Marc Guillot, whose consistency, underscored by his four podiums, has allowed him to slot in between his two teammates. The chase group, led by Polish driver Jerzy Spinkiewicz (Uniq Racing) and David Pouget (GPA Racing), hope to regain the upper hand over the French trio. Both are aiming for their first victory of the season, while Czech Tomas Pekar (Carpek Service) and Italian Alessandro Brigatti (Progetto E20 Motorsport) share the same goal as they look to boost their confidence before the summer break.
Jerzy Spinkiewicz, who is sure to go on holiday atop the Challengers Cup classification, also wants to increase his lead over Guillaume Maio (GM Sport) and Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Compétition) ; who took the category honours here 12 months ago. Twice a runner-up at Zandvoort, Serbian Nikola Miljkovic (Tempo Racing Team) will try to keep his momentum going. Italian Cristian Ricciardini (Essecorse), the only man to have beaten Jerzy Spinkiewicz this year, will try to do it again while Finland’s Juuso Panttila (Carpek Service), Italians Jacopo Giuseppe Cimenes (Essecorse) and William Mezzetti (Progetto E20 Motorsport) as well as Spain’s Nico Abella (Chefo Sport) are all eager to score their first podium result. Taiwan’s Lin Chen Han (Uniq Racing) and Argentina’s Mariano Alonso (GPA Racing) will also be out to prove how much they have progressed.
The battle will rage in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup, where Italian Quinto Stefana (Milan Competition) and Dutchmen Rene Steenmetz (Chefo Sport) and Stefan Polderman (Chefo Sport) are covered by just seven points. While they have shared all the victories so far, Frenchmen Michel Faye (GM Sport), Horn (GPA Racing) and Argentinian Gabriel Alonso (GPA Racing) hope to reverse the trend this week to get back in title contention.
Clio Cup Eastern Europe reaches the mid-season mark
Before the first half of the season ends in Budapest, Marc Guillot will defend his lead in the Clio Cup Eastern Europe. While the Frenchman has recently consolidated his lead, Tomáš Pekar and Swiss driver Andreas Stucki (Stucki Motorsport) will look to pounce on the slightest slip-up on his part. His countryman and teammate Anthony Jurado, twice a winner at Zandvoort, is also determined to accelerate his ascent in the general classification.
In the Challengers Cup, Juuso Panttila will attempt to build on his brace of wins in the Netherlands to extend his lead over Lin Chen Han and German Henrik Seibel (Carpek Sevice), who will target his maiden victory this week. Lastly, the Dutchmen Rene Steenmetz and Stephan Polderman will resume their duel in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup, where the former hopes to extend his run of three consecutive victories to distance himself from his teammate before the next meeting in the autumn.
The field will also welcome a driver who knows the Hungaroring circuit well, namely Gábor Tim (GM Sport). The Hungarian driver, who has won several national karting titles and national circuit and rally single-make cups, will make his debut in the new generation Clio Cup thanks to a fundraising campaign that attracted more than 230 people.
Friday 8 July
8:30-9 am : Collective test 1
1:33-2:03 pm : Collective test 2