David Pouget (GPA Racing) extended Bastille Day celebrations this weekend with a double victory on Italian soil. Like on Saturday, the French driver climbed from third on the grid to the podium’s top step, winning ahead of Racer Luca Franca (MC Motortecnica) and Challenger Giacomo Trebbi (MC Motortecnica). With a maximum point tally at the Misano World Circuit, David Pouget increases his lead in the Clio Cup Series while his rivals are now controlling the Clio Cup Italia heading into the second half of the season.
The twenty-eight competitors competing in the 12th race of the Clio Cup Series calendar gathered on Sunday morning for the second qualifying session at Misano. Luca Franca, who won the pole on Saturday, followed up with a best time of 1:53.213s, ahead of teammate Giacomo Trebbi and David Pouget while Jacopo Giuseppe Cimenes (Essecorse) and Mattia Lancellotti (Faro Racing) completed the top five.
In contrast to the previous day, Luca Franca held on to the lead at the start, quickly opening up a small gap over Giacomo Trebbi and David Pouget. Meanwhile, Mattia Lancellotti and Cristian Ricciarini (Essecorse) got the better of Jacopo Giuseppe Cimenes whilst Alessandro Brigatti (Progetto E20 Motorsport) moved up to seventh ahead of Jerzy Spinkiewicz (Uniq Racing) in a field featuring several fierce battles.
The order quickly changed at the front, with David Pouget surprising Giacomo Trebbi to move into second place at the end of lap two. The Frenchman then increased the pressure on Luca Franca under the watchful eye of Giacomo Trebbi and Cristian Ricciarni, who closed right up after overtaking Mattia Lancellotti on lap three.
The lead changed hands two laps later. David Pouget found a gap on Luca Franca, but the Italian driver tried to retake the position with a series of attacks. In the sweltering heat putting bodies, minds and cars to the test, the rest of the field battled just as fiercely, with an incident resulting in Adam Sascha (Sevenhills Motorsport) retirement and a mistake by Luciano Gioia (Essecorse).
In the final laps, David Pouget gradually pulled away to win by more than a second and a half over Racer Luca Franca and Challenger Giacomo Trebbi. Behind the same identical leading trio as Saturday’s race, Cristian Ricciarini was fourth, followed by teammate Jacopo Giuseppe Cimenes and Poland’s Jerzy Spinkiewicz, both of whom passed Mattia Lancellotti halfway through the race. Alessandro Brigatti was eighth, ahead of Leonardo Arduini and Alex Lancellotti, who inherited tenth place after Francesco Pagano received a five-second penalty for infringing track limits.
With four wins and six additional podium finishes in 12 races, David Pouget has widened his lead at the top of the Clio Cup Series general classification. His main rivals this weekend, Luca Franca and Giacomo Trebbi, took advantage of their double podium finishes to move up to fifth and tenth after the first six rounds of the 13-event calendar.
CLIO CUP ITALIA
In Clio Cup Italia, Luca Franca scored his third win ahead of Giacomo Trebbi and Cristian Ricciarini. The only driver from the Italian group to have won more than once this year, the Italian has a 12-point lead at the midway point of the season over teammate Giacomo Trebbi. Luca Franca also dominates the Racers Cup, where he took his fifth victory in six starts ahead of Alex Lancellotti and Alessandro Alcidi (Tuder Motorsport). Lastly, Giacomo Trebbi’s win over Jacopo Giuseppe Cimenes in the Challengers Cup allows him to extend his lead to 15 points over Mattia Lancellotti, who finished third on Sunday.
The Clio Cup Series now prepares to make its return to the Nürburgring (28-30 July) in a round counting towards Clio Cup Europe, Clio Cup France and Clio Cup Mid-Europe. Meanwhile, competitors in Clio Cup Italia will contest their next round at the Red Bull Ring (8-10 September).