A week after the Clio Trophy France Terre, the Clio Trophy France Asphalte makes its traditional return at Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine. With 43 Clio Rally5s lining up at altitude, the stakes will be just as high, with this round likely to have a significant impact on the different title races, including those involved in the official programme up for grabs for 2024.
Third in Le Touquet, second in Antibes and first in Rouergue, Benjamin Stirling steadily upped his game in the first half of the season. Leading the general classification, the Sébastien Loeb Racing driver knows that a solid result could see him take a big step towards the crown and the prize package promised to the best Junior. However, the Frenchman is well aware of the hazards of the event following his retirement last year and will look to combine consistency and performance to extend his gap.
The opposition is led by his team-mate, twice podium finisher Yoan Corberand, now looking for his first win to take his squad closer to the title. Benjamin Stirling will also have to pay close attention to his rivals in the Junior category. Among them will be Arthur Pelamourgues, currently leading the Jean Ragnotti Power Stage classification and determined to score his maiden victory. Winner in Antives and sixth in the trophy for his first Mont-Blanc in 2022, Benjamin Barnouin will also aim to erase the disappointment of retiring from the opening stage in Rouergue.
The list of contenders is incredibly long, beginning with Tom Vauclare, Jean-Claude Pietri and Samuel Lay, who have put in some fine performances since their debuts and will do all they can to keep their chances alive until the season-finale. Romain Fostier, who finished on the podium in 2020 and 2021, will be out to prove his worth, as will Nicolas Hebrard and Julien Deslauriers. A host of Juniors, Tobias Laurence, Matteo Chatillon, Tom Pellerey, Arthur Roché, Enzo Beschet, Jordan D’Agostino and Romain Perrin are also determined to make a strong impression for the future !
With three different winners in as many rallies, the Gentlemen category will feature its own hotly contested battles. Current leader Mike Souvigné will look to repeat his success of 12 months ago, but the driver from Luxembourg will face stiff competition from Pascal Bérard and Franck Giraud. Meanwhile, Dominique Patenotte, José Da Cunha, Willy Mathey, Philippe Janvier and Patrick Favre are all determined to put in a strong rally whilst Jean-Pierre Lejeune will target his first points. The battle in the Women category promises to be just as thrilling with the return of Elodie Rey Gines. Already victorious last year in Morzine, the best class driver in 2022 will aim for a repeat result against Charlotte Olea and Margot Dupuy in a confrontation that could shake up the category hierarchy.
In a service park where some of the trophy’s most loyal competitors will be found, including Jérôme Janny, Nicolas Paviet-Roche, Sylvain Janny, Julien Charnay, Julien Anthérieu and Ugo Girardeau, several drivers will make their season debut. Tristan Pieri, 15th on his debut last year in Morzine, will aim for an even better result. Kévin Duc, Florian Picchioni and Steve D’Angelo will reunite with Clio Rally5 for their annual one-off in the Alps. Lastly, Amaury Facchinetti, Rémy Narbon, Adrien Chinappi and Romuald Lézeau, a well-known Clio Trophy preparer, will all get behind the wheel for the first time in Clio Trophy France Asphalte.
The Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine will be made up of two legs of seven special stages, totalling 189.93 kilometres out of a total route of 466.62 km. On Saturday, SS12 at Praz de Lys Sommand (29.10 km) will host the Jean Ragnotti Power Stage, with bonus points up for grabs for the ten fastest crews. Three Clio Rally3s and six Clio Rally4s are also entered, including Thomas Chauffray and Quentin Ribaud, who have both won Clio Trophy titles in recent years with Clio Rally5.
#83 Benjamin Stirling – Florence Stirling (J)
#84 Yoan Corberand – Jessika Leprêtre
#85 Arthur Pelamourgues – Bastien Pouget (J)
#86 Nicolas Hebrard – Amandine Houry
#87 Tom Vauclare – Frédéric Vauclare (J)
#88 Jean-Claude Pietri – Kylian Sarmezan (J)
#89 Benjamin Barnouin – Enzo Mahinc (J)
#90 Tobias Laurence – Florian Duthu (J)
#91 Romain Fostier – Ophélie Abchiche
#92 Julien Deslauriers – Amandine Brunel
#93 Samuel Lay – Geoffrey Brion (J)
#94 Matteo Chatillon – Maxence Cornuau (J)
#95 Tom Pellerey – Hervé Faucher (J)
#96 Arthur Roché – Quentin Proust (J)
#97 Enzo Beschet – Emmanuel Guinchard (J)
#98 Jordan D’Agostino – Manon Deliot (J)
#99 Jérôme Janny – Aurélien Beaudouin
#100 Romain Perrin – Albin Goutry-André (J)
#101 Amaury Facchinetti – Léo Lhomme (J)
#102 Tristan Pieri – Leo Cantallops (J)
#103 Mike Souvigné – Brice Ricou (G)
#104 Pascal Bérard – Caroline Berard (G)
#105 Franck Giraud – Sylvain Guillaume (G)
#106 Nicolas Paviet-Roche – Mélodie Bellavarde
#107 Julien Charnay – Maxime Gomez
#108 Sylvain Janny – Mireille Guy
#109 Dominique Patenotte – Aline Boury (G)
#110 Kévin Duc -Séverine Chamiot-Maitral (J)
#111 Rémy Narbon – Emeline Vo Dinh (J)
#112 Margot Dupuy – « Clochette » (F)
#113 Elodie Rey Gines – Lisa Tornior (F)
#114 Romuald Lézeau – Valentin Marechal
#115 Julien Anthérieu – Eddy Jabeneau (J)
#116 Florian Picchioni – François Gilbert
#117 Philippe Janvier – Benjamin Mondiere (G)
#118 José Da Cunha – Tiphanie Maudit (G)
#119 Willy Mathey – Mathieu Favreau (G)
#120 Ugo Girardeau – Julien Bichon
#121 Charlotte Olea – Cécile Pages (J,F)
#122 Steve D’Angelo – Sébastien Garnier
#123 Adrien Chinappi – Thomas Bort (J)
#124 Patrick Favre – Clément Certano (G)
#125 Jean-Pierre Lejeune – Geneviève Arnavielhe (G)