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Eurocup Clio

As was the case for the drivers in the three other World Series by Renault disciplines, the Eurocup Clio hopefuls had a dry track for collective testing in the morning and wet conditions in the afternoon. Overall championship leader Marc Guillot displayed his dexterity at the wheel by completely dominating the morning session. Simone di Luca (Rangoni Motorsport) was fastest in the rain in the afternoon, and the Italian will be hoping for some big performances this weekend as he looks to recover from a difficult start to the season.

The Eurocup Clio field welcomes two new faces this weekend with the arrival of French driver Laurent Fradetal (Team Carmine) and the Spaniard Alex Villanueva (Dale Gas). Their presence meant that 29 Clios lined up ready for action as the green flag signalled the start of collective testing.

After watching Rafael Villanueva (Milan Competition), Eoin Murray (Monolite Racing) and Frédéric Yerly (Gruyere Racing Team) tussle for first place, Marc Guillot joined the action and immediately installed himself at the top of the timesheets. The Frenchman, current leader in the Eurocup Clio, Clio Cup France and Clio Cup Spain, increased the pace with every lap, before securing top spot definitively at the end of the session with a time of 2:22.946.

Behind Guillot, the order was constantly changing. At the end of the session, Christian Ricciarini (Composit Motorsport) moved up to second place ahead of Eric Trémoulet (Vic Team), Robert Van den Berg (Harders Plaza Racing) and Mike Verschuur (Equipe Verschuur). The top ten drivers finished with just a second separating them.

On a wet track in the afternoon, Mike Verschuur (Equipe Verschuur), Simone di Luca and Rafael Villanueva set about disrupting Guillot’s dominant day, while Margot Laffite (FB Racing) turned heads with some stylish laps of her own. It was Simone di Luca, however, who finished with the fastest time of the afternoon, ahead of Mike Verschuur. It no doubt came as a welcome confidence boost for di Luca, who endured a difficult start to the season at Spa-Francorchamps. Eric Trémoulet impressed again by finishing third, with Guillot and Villanueva completing the top five.

What they said:

Marc Guillot: “This morning I set off with very good front tyres, so I stayed out on track and kept improving my time. It was the perfect session. We also had the chance to work in the rain. With the Clio Cup France, Clio Cup Spain and Eurocup Clio, I spend nearly every weekend in my car. So I don’t need time to adapt – I’m in the zone. I just have to adjust the set-ups.”

Mike Verschuur: “The Dutch are always quick in the rain, and I proved it again today. We had several problems this morning, particularly with the fuel pump and injectors. But in spite of everything, I got the fifth fastest time. Things worked better in the rain. The weather conditions will be an important factor this weekend; they can change very quickly here.”

Simone di Luca: “At Spa, in the rain, things didn’t work at all well. So I’m happy with the result this afternoon. I need to forget the Spa weekend, which was very bad. I need lots of points here, so I’m going to need to take risks.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 29 June 2012
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