France’s Anthony Jurado won in Austria in the return of the Clio Cup Series to action after the summer break. Sixth on the grid, the Milan Compétition driver beat Gabriele Torelli (Rangoni Corse) and David Pouget (GPA Racing) in a breathtaking three-way battle on the final lap. Meanwhile, Spain’s Adrian Schimpf (AST Competition) was victorious in the Challengers Cup and Italian Luca Franca (MC Motorsport) in the Racers Cup.
The Clio Cup Series returned to the track with 43 drivers participating at the Austrian stop on the calendar at the Red Bull Ring. Clio Cup Europe and Clio Cup Mid-Europe leader Gabriele Torelli made a perfect start to the week, dominating the four tests sessions on Thursday and Friday. However, the order changed on Saturday morning, with his countryman Cristian Ricciarini (Essecorse) taking over during an extremely tight qualifying session, with the top 25 cars all within a second.
2009 and 2016 Clio Cup Italia title-winner Cristian Ricciarini started from the pole position for the first time since 2020, ahead of David Pouget and Challengers Alessandro Brigatti (Progetto E20 Motorsport) and Nikola Miljkovic (Tempo Racing Team). The poleman kept the lead at the start, but David Pouget took advantage of the draft to take the race lead at turn three, with Nikola Miljkovic just behind the leading duo. Sixth on the grid, Anthony Jurado livened up the start of the race by moving up to second place on lap two before chasing down the leader, whilst Nikola Miljkovic and Gabriele Torelli got the better of Cristian Ricciarini on the following lap to battle for third place.
The tension rose a notch on lap five. Francesco Savoia (Progetto E20 Motorsport) was in tenth place when he ran into Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition), who was then hit by Giacomo Trebbi (MC Motorsport), knocked off balance by the kerb on the outside of the same corner. A few metres later, Francesco Savoia got loose and collided with Jerzy Spinkiewicz (Uniq Racing) as he returned to the track. The Pole barrel-rolled six times but escaped unscathed, while the Italian was penalised eight positions on his next starting grid for his role in the collision with Nicolas Milan.
David Pouget’s lead was reduced to nothing when the safety car entered the track. The leader controlled the restart, but Anthony Jurado took his slipstream to claim the lead later. At the same time, the battle for third place was just as intense. Nikola Miljkovic initially had the position before Gabriele Torelli counter-attacked whilst Cristian Ricciarini lost control of his machine four laps from the end.
The battle for the win escalated as David Pouget and Anthony Jurado went blow for blow in a hard-fought duel, allowing Gabriele Torelli to get in between them and take the lead before they entered the final lap three abreast. When all was said and done, Anthony Jurado kept his advantage to claim his sixth win of the season over the Italian and his compatriot. Initially fourth after a thrilling battle, Nikola Miljkovic received a ten-second penalty for an incident with Cristian Ricciarini. Tomas Pekar (Carpek Racing) inherited the position ahead of Luca Franca and Adrian Schimpf (AST Competition), who won the Racers and Challengers Cups. Jacopo Giuseppe Cimenes (Essecorse), Alessandro Brigatti, Federico Danova (Essecorse) and Andreas Stucki (Stucki Motorsport) completed the top in a field where all the positions were up for grabs right up to the chequered flag.
In the overall Clio Cup Series classification, David Pouget took advantage of his 13th podium in 15 races to extend his lead. Gabriele Torelli is now his closest challenger, ahead of Nicolas Milan, who finished 36th on Saturday.
CLIO CUP EUROPE
Anthony Jurado scored his third Clio Cup Europe win to reduce the gap in the general classification on rivals Gabriele Torelli and David Pouget, both on the podium. Adrian Schimpf inherited the win from Jacopo Giuseppe Cimenes and Alejandro Schimpf (AST Competition) in the Challengers Cup after Nikola Miljkovic was penalised, increasing his advantage over his Serbian rival. Lastly, Luca Franca led from start to finish to seal his sixth win ahead of Rene Steenmetz (AST Competition) and Stephan Polderman (AST Competition) and extend his Racers Cup advantage.
CLIO CUP ITALIA
Leader in Clio Cup Italia for the majority of the race, Cristian Ricciarini spun with four laps to go. Luca Franca inherited the lead, scoring his fourth consecutive win and extending his lead in the general classification. The Italian also won the Racers Cup, beating Davide Gaggianesi (Faro Racing) and Sandro Cutini (Faro Racing) to consolidate his category lead. The overall podium also featured Challengers Jacopo Giuseppe Cimenes and Alessandro Brigatti, who did their chances for the category title a lot of good after leader Giacomo Trebbi (MC Motortecnica) retired.
CLIO CUP MID-EUROPE
Anthony Jurado won his duel with Gabriele Torelli to seal his third Clio Cup Mid-Europe victory of the year and move back to within 36 points of his rival on top of the general classification. Tomas Pekar completed the podium after Nikola Miljkovic’s ten-second penalty. The driver from Serbia also lost his Challengers Cup win to Damiano Puccetti (Rangoni Corse) but is still second in the category ahead of Julien Baziret (Baziret Sport). Meanwhile, Rene Steenmetz moved closer to the Racers Cup crown with victory over team-mate Stephan Polderman.
Pre-event collective tests 1 - Pre-event collective tests 2 - Collective tests 1 - Collective tests 2 - Qualifying - Starting grid - Race 1 - Clio Cup Series - Clio Cup Europe - Clio Cup Italia - Clio Cup Mid-Europe