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Eurocup Clio

There were 32 Nouvelle Clio Cups in action this weekend at Motorland Aragon in Spain, where they underwent two days of collective testing in preparation for the 2013 Eurocup Clio season, giving the field the chance to assess the quality and performance of the new car. The quickest man over the two days was Massimiliano Pedala (Composit Motorsport), who trimmed a whole 4.5 seconds off the fastest time in testing last season.

Appearing exclusively in the Eurocup Clio this season, the Nouvelle Clio Cup aims to set a new standard for hot hatch development series. Replacing the model in use since 2006, the new car on the block has all the attributes of the Clio Renaultsport 200 EDC, starting with a 1.6L direct-injected turbo engine delivering 220bhp and a constant torque of 270Nm.

Built at the Alpine factory in Dieppe, the first 32 Nouvelle Clio Cups to roll off the production line were brought together this weekend for two days of collective testing at Motorland Aragon. One of the drivers who had the opportunity to try out the new car before testing got under way was Christophe Bruyere (Team Techauto), who expressed his approval: “The car performs a lot better than its predecessor, by at least two seconds a lap. The new adjustable shock absorbers make it more comfortable too.”

The best time in last April’s Eurocup Clio collective testing sessions was 2:21.416, and it did not take long for that mark to be eclipsed on Saturday morning, with Thomas Fjordbach (Polar Seafood Racing) the first to show with a lap of 2:19.946. The Dane then produced three even faster laps only for Massimiliano Pedala to upstage him with a time of 2:17.787. The two were also dominant in the afternoon, when Pedala again went quickest, this time with a lap of 2:17.057.

The conditions were even better on Sunday, with Pedala showing his ease at the wheel of the Nouvelle Clio Cup by becoming the first driver to dip under 2:17, his time of 2:16.976 proving the weekend’s fastest, with Nicolas Milan (LMV Sport) four tenths of a second behind him.

Pedala and Fjordbach sat out the final session, allowing the rest of the field a chance to shine, with Romania’s Salvatore Arcarese topping the afternoon’s timesheets in 2:17.852.

There were several off-track excursions over the course of the two days as drivers pushed the car to the limit, the most spectacular exits of all befalling Stephane Lemeret (Team Lompech Sport) and Stephane Eychenne (Autosport GP).

The Eurocup Clio field will come together again at Imola on 11-12 May for the opening weekend of the season.

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 21 April 2013
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