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Eurocup Clio

Three weeks on from the last round of collective testing at Motorland Aragon, the 38 drivers in the 2013 Eurocup Clio field got down to serious business in their Nouvelle Clio Cups at Imola. The fastest man on the track in Friday’s two sessions was Josh Files (Team Pyro), with Christian Ricciarini (Composit Motorsport) and Massimiliano Pedala (Composit Motorsport) behind him.

Thirty-eight drivers took to the track at Imola today as the 2013 Eurocup Clio season began. Making an early move were the two former champions in the discipline, Nicolas Milan (Team LMV CL Brakes) and Oscar Nogues (RMS Engineering), who put their names at the top of the timesheets as the field got to grips with the new car.

The lap times fell steadily throughout a session that took place under slightly cloudy skies. It ended with young British driver Josh Files posting a fastest lap of 2:02.665, nearly a second quicker than Nicolas Milan (Milan Competition) and Christian Ricciarini, the leading gentlemen driver. Closely bunched behind them were Massimiliano Pedala (Composit Motorsport), Oscar Nogues and Eric Tremoulet (Vic’ Team).

Though the sun remained notable by its absence in the afternoon, the temperatures continued to climb during what turned out to be a keenly contested second session, which began with Massimiliano Pedala going fastest. Team-mate Christian Ricciarini relieved him of first place just before the midway point, with Josh Files, Oscar Nogues and Eric Tremoulet behind them.

In the final ten minutes Massimiliano Pedala closed the gap on his compatriot without being able to outpace him. Christian Ricciarini’s hopes of staying out front ended, however, when Josh Files put in another flying lap late on, leaving the Composit Motorsport duo trailing behind him, with the Briton’s stable-mate David Dickenson (Team Pyro) and Eric Tremoulet completing the top five.

What they said

Josh Files: “The new car is really competitive and I love it already. It’s very tricky to drive, which suits my style. I’m very happy with the start I’ve made at Imola. We’re hoping for even more, just as soon as we’ve got used to the track and the car.”

Christian Ricciarini: “I feel pretty quick. I feel we can do even better and that tomorrow we can go for the front row, if not pole. The new car is superb. We’ve only had the one test at Motorland Aragon, where we did a lot of work trying to get used to the new features, such as the paddle shifts on the steering wheel.”

Oscar Nogues: “This Nouvelle Clio Cup is just fantastic. We need to keep on working on the set-up, but with the experience we’ve acquired in the seat already, tomorrow should be a better day.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 10 May 2013
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