Clio Cup Europe leader Gabriele Torelli (Rangoni Corse) kept his cool despite changing conditions and the attacks of David Pouget (GPA Racing) to win the final race before the summer break. Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition) completed the podium after Anthony Jurado (Milan Compétition) received a time penalty, whilst Adrian Schimpf (AST Competition) and Jérémy Bordagaray (Milan Compétition) won in the Challengers and Racers Cups. After two sensational encounters at the Nürburgring, the various titles battles remain more open than ever and promise a genuinely thrilling second half of the season.
The 36 competitors racing at the Nürburgring were back at the German track for the final time on Sunday before a well-deserved holiday. On Friday, Gabriele Torelli dominated qualifying to win the pole position ahead of Alexandre Finkelstein (GPA Racing), Adrian Schimpf, David Pouget and Jerzy Spinkiewicz (Uniq Racing).
In cooler and more threatening conditions than the previous day, the Italian retained the lead despite an excellent start from David Pouget, who passed Alexandre Finkelstein and Adrian Schimpf to slot into second place. Nicolas Milan climbed from eighth on the grid into the top five by getting the better of Jerzy Spinkiewicz. Meanwhile, Tomas Pekar (Carpek Racing) and Nikola Miljkovic (Tempo Racing Team) dropped several positions after an off-track excursion following contact with Anthony Jurado, who was penalised ten seconds for his involvement in the incident.
The safety car appeared at the end of the opening lap to allow for the removal of the car of Laurent Dziadus (Team Lucas), stuck in the gravel bed after an incident with Guillaume Maio (GM Sport). During the neutralisation, rain began to fall in the Eifel region, but Gabriele Torelli managed to hold off David Pouget at the restart. Meanwhile, Adrian Schimpf surprised Alexandre Finkelstein at the hairpin to take third place. Nicolas Milan followed suit at the chicane, but the two drivers made contact in the final corner, allowing Anthony Jurado and Jerzy Spinkiewicz to move into the top five. Contacts in the tricky conditions was a common occurrence, best-exemplified by Mariano Alonso (GPA Racing) and Florian Venturi (GM Sport) on lap five.
Despite the ever-changing race order, Gabriele Torelli maintained a one-second lead over David Pouget. Anthony Jurado snatched third place from Adrian Schimpf on lap eight as the sun returned. The Spaniard tried to fight back, but Jerzy Spinkiewicz managed to get between his two rivals before seeing his hopes of a podium finish dashed after he lost control of his car while accelerating on a damp kerb on the penultimate lap.
The battle for the victory intensified in the waning minutes of the race. After an initial attack on Gabriele Torelli, David Pouget kept pushing hard in a sumptuous duel at the start of the final lap. The Frenchman took the lead before going wide at the exit of turn four. The Italian took advantage to regain the lead two corners later and went on to take the win in what was a suspense-filled mano-a-mano battle. Anthony Jurado, who had initially climbed from eleventh to third place, was relegated to seventh following the enforcement of his penalty. Nicolas Milan inherited third place as he overtook Challenger winner Adrian Schimpf on the final lap. Cristian Ricciarini (Essecorse) crossed the line in fifth place ahead of Nikola Miljkovic and Anthony Jurado. Alejandro Schimpf (AST Competition) was eighth, followed by Mariano Alonso and Jérémy Bordagaray, victorious among the Racers.
With his fifth race win in the 2023 Clio Cup Series season, Gabriele Torelli moves closer to second place in the general classification, eleven points behind Nicolas Milan. David Pouget remains on top with a lead over 200 points at the midway stage of the season.
CLIO CUP EUROPE
With his fifth success in Clio Cup Europe, Gabriele Torelli leaves the fourth of the nine meetings on the calendar 38 points clear of David Pouget. With the penalty for Anthony Jurado, Nicolas Milan completed the podium to move closer to the leading trio in the general classification. The new leader of the Challengers Cup since Saturday, Adrian Schimpf sealed his German double in the category ahead of Nikola Miljkovic and Alejandro Schimpf. Lastly, Stephan Polderman (AST Competition) is back in contention with his first win of the year in front of Lionel Viguier (T2CM) and Rene Steenmetz (AST Competition) in the Racers Cup, where Luca Franca still leads.
CLIO CUP FRANCE
Now a four-time winner in Clio Cup France this year, David Pouget takes the overall lead by two points from his rival Nicolas Milan heading to the final two rounds of the campaign. Despite retiring, Alexandre Finkelstein is still third and leads in the Challengers Cup, where Florian Venturi won on Sunday. Third in the French group, Jérémy Bordagaray claimed his sixth Racers Cup win of the year ahead of Lionel Viguier (T2CM) and Raphaël Cuadrado (GM Sport) to take another step towards the title.
CLIO CUP MID-EUROPE
Gabriele Torelli pulled off a double coup in Clio Cup Mid-Europe with his sixth victory in eight races. Victorious ahead of Nikola Milkjovic and Anthony Jurado, the 2022 Clio Cup Italia title holder extends his lead to 44 points over his French rival. Nikola Miljkovic also scored another victory in the Challengers Cup, beating Damiano Puccetti (Rangoni Corse) and Guillaume Maio to extend his category lead. Lastly, Stephan Polderman won the Racers Cup ahead of Sébastien Gehin (T2CM) to close the gap on leader Rene Steenmetz, who was third today, ahead of the season’s final two rounds.
The Clio Cup Series is now going into its summer break. The battles will resume at the Red Bull Ring, where Clio Cup Europe, Clio Cup Italia and Clio Cup Mid-Europe will come together from 8-10 September. The Clio Cup España contenders will await Valencia (22-24 September) for their return to action, while competitors in Clio Cup France will be back at Circuit Paul Ricard (6-8 October).