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Eurocup Clio

Eric Tremoulet (Vic’ Team) made a perfect start to the Spa-Francorchamps meeting, mastering the wet conditions to dominate both of Friday’s Eurocup Clio collective testing sessions. Second and third fastest behind the Frenchman were Christian Ricciarini (Composit Motorsport) and Nicolas Milan (Team LMV CL Brakes) respectively.

Early morning mist delayed the day’s opening session, and by the time the 38 drivers ventured on to the track rain was falling. Leading the way in the hazardous conditions were Oscar Nogues (RMS Engineering) and Josh Files (Team Pyro).

Though the Spaniard gradually picked up the pace, by the midway point he had been replaced at the top of the timesheets by Eric Tremoulet (Vic’ Team). The French driver would stay there through to the end of the session thanks to a fastest time of 3:06.819, with the defending champion and Thomas Fjordbach (Polar Seafood Racing) behind him. Following them in were Nicolas Milan (Team LMV CL Brakes), Josh Files and Massimiliano Pedala (Composit Motorsport), who followed up their impressive displays in the season-opener at Imola by keeping pace with the leaders.

Though the rain had stopped for the start of the second session, the track was still decidedly damp. Eric Tremoulet was the first to show before Nicolas Milan dislodged him, and as the track dried so the lap times came down.

The duel between the two Frenchman continued to the end of the session. In posting a time of 3:06.485 the 2011 champion looked to have taken the honours, only for Eric Tremoulet to duck back into the lead with a last-gasp lap of 3:06.100 and Christian Ricciarini to slip into second, with David Dickenson (Team Pyro), Thomas Fjordbach and Josh Files all finishing behind Milan and within a second of the leader.

What they said

Eric Trémoulet : “The day went very well and it was the first time for everyone with the car in these conditions. It was a learning process because there was a lot of rain and standing water around and not much visibility. We didn’t take any risks and things worked out for us from the off. It’s a great way to start.”

Christian Ricciarini : “Everything worked today. We focused on the car’s development and it suits my driving style better now. What I need to do now is find some confidence on the track. I’ll be looking to stay out of trouble, something we weren’t able to do at Imola with the weather and the traffic. Even so, I’m still confident about qualifying.”

Stéphane Lemeret : “It’s a real lift to be driving at home. If it hadn’t been Spa, I wouldn’t be driving because I still haven’t completely recovered from my accident at Imola. More than anything this session in the rain has shown I can compete.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 31 May 2013
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