The Rallye du Var (24-26 November) will host the sixth and final round of the 2017 Clio R3T Trophy France. Crowned at the Rallye Cœur de France, Cédric Robert will be looking for his fifth win this season. Florian Bernardi, who has already wrapped up the Junior title, will be one of the fifteen other crews that will be trying to steal the limelight from the new champion.
Although the outcome of the Clio R3T Trophy France was known back in September, there will still be plenty at stake before Cédric Robert is handed the keys to the Renault Clio R.S. rewarded to the champion!
A four-time winner this year, the Team Bonneton driver will once again be the hot favourite thanks to his three overall wins (2002, 2010 and 2012) at the event. Despite his experience, Cédric Robert knows however that Florian Bernardi will want to finish his season in style in contesting his seventh Rallye du Var running.
Behind the two men, third place in the overall standings is still up for grabs.
Runner-up last time out in the Loir-et-Cher department, Kevin van Deijne already has one hand on third, but he may still come under threat from Damien Tozlanian and Pascal Bérard. The Dutchman will therefore be hoping for better fortune than he experienced here in 2016 when he was forced to retire when in contention for a podium spot. In the end, the podium place went to Pascal Bérard, who – like Damien Tozlanian – will be looking to pull off an exceptional result to grab the bronze medal.
There will be many outsiders looking to stand out from the crowd in the home straight. On his first appearance at the Rallye du Var, Frédéric Flajolet will be giving his all to grab a top-five place. Meanwhile, Pascal Aimé will be using his experience of the Var roads to try and move up the standings, whilst Sarah Williams will be looking to break into the top ten on the back of her best result of the season, secured at the Rallye Cœur de France.
Fourth at the Rallye du Rouergue, the 2015 Italian Junior Rally Champion Michele Tassone returns to the category with big ambitions. Having competed at the Antibes and Rouergue rallies respectively, Stéphane Gragnola and Dominique Patenotte also return for the Clio R3T Trophy finale.
Lastly, five crews will be competing in the Trophy organised by Renault Sport Racing for the first time. After strong performances in R3 at the French Rally Cup, Thibaut Poizot will be making his first appearance, like Gérard Sébastien and Patrick Romano, who knows the event well. The Spaniards José Javier Perez – one of the leading lights in the Clio R3T Trophy Iberia – and Riquelmo Gómis – a recent winner in the R3 class at the Rallye Ciutat de Xixona – will also be competing in the south of France.
At the same time, Emmanuel Guigou will once again be one of the contenders in R3, a category in which no fewer than thirty-one crews are taking part, more than half of whom are also in the Clio R3T Trophy France!
The Rallye du Var will be held from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 November. The itinerary features fourteen stages over a total competitive distance of 186.08km on some of the most beautiful roads in the department, including the iconic Collobrières speed test, which will be contested four times.
List of entries – Clio R3T Trophy France
#56 Cédric Robert – Matthieu Duval
#57 Florian Bernardi – Xavier Castex
#58 Kevin van Deijne – Hein Verschuuren
#59 Damien Tozlanian – Pierre Blot
#60 Pascal Bérard – Caroline Bérard
#61 Michele Tassone – Fabio Grimaldi
#62 Frédéric Flajolet – Christophe Leroy
#63 Thibaut Poizot – Fiona Curcio
#64 Pascal Aimé – Morgan Aimé
#65 Sara Williams – Mark Glennerster
#66 Stéphane Gragnola – Aymeric Duchemin
#67 Dominique Patenotte – Valentin Augé
#68 José Javier Perez – Alberto Espino
#69 Patrick Romano – Connie Florio
#70 Riquelmo Gómis – Xavi Lozano
#71 Gérard Sébastien – Bastien Laurent
Clio R3T Trophy France overall standings (before the sixth round)
1. Cédric Robert, 141 points
2. Florian Bernardi, 96 points
3. Kevin Van Deijne, 68 points
4. Damien Tozlanian, 42 points
5. Pascal Bérard, 31 points
6. Fréderic Flajolet, 22 points
7. Philippe Rageau, 20 points
8. Romuald Lezeau, 17 points
9. Pascal Aimé, 16 points
10. Jean-Paul Monnin, 15 points
11. Frédéric Perriat, 15 points
12. Sara Williams, 15 points
13. Michele Tassone, 12 points
14. Éric Filippi, 12 points
15. Stéphane Gragnola, 6 points
16. Dominique Patenotte, 4 points
17. David Sauvaigo, 1 point
18. William Pitot, 0 points
NC. Julien Fébreau
NC. Riccardo Canzian
NC. Bruno Longépé