From sixth on the grid, Felice Jelmini (PMA Motorsport) made a great comeback to a thrilling battle for victory at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari d’Imola.
With the win for Nicolas Milan (Milan League) and Marc Guillot (Milan League), the Italian is the fourth different winner in the first six races this season and takes the lead in the Clio Cup Italia, just like Nicolas Milan in the Clio Cup Europe.
Less than 24 hours after taking the lead in the Clio Cup Europe, Marc Guillot (Milan Compétition) continued his offensive in qualifying on Sunday morning. The Frenchman defeated Nicolas Milan and David Pouget (GPA Racing) in the session. Anthony Jurado (Milan Competition) and Challenger Jerzy Spinkiewicz completed the top five.
On a partially wet track, the race started behind the safety car. The proceedings really started in the third round when Marc Guillot left for Nicolas Milan. After opting for wet tires, David Pouget came under pressure from his pursuers. Anthony Jurado was the first to overtake him on the Variante Alta on the same tires before being followed by Felice Jelmini and Jerzy Spinkiewicz. There was also plenty of action further down the field, with Cristian Ricciarini (Essecorse) and Lorenzo Nicoli (Progetto E20 Motorsport) making the most of their choice to start on slicks to overtake Mathieu Lannepoudenx (Milan Competition).
The safety car returned to the track after contact between Damiano Puccetti (PMA Motorsport) and Due (Oregon Team). At the restart Nicolas Milan took over the lead from Marc Guillot. Felice Jelmini also overtook the Frenchman at Tosa before attacking the leader. After a failed attempt, the Italian found the opening before throwing his Clio Cup in a spectacular drift to Acque Minerali, allowing Nicolas Milan to regain the lead of an increasingly compact leading quartet as Marc Guillot battled Jerzy Spinkiewicz on Rivazza’s exit.
Felice Jelmini took off again, passing Nicolas Milan on the penultimate lap and holding his rival at bay to seal his first win of the year in front of his home crowd. Third in the final round, Jerzy Spinkiewicz was penalized by one second for his role in an incident with Marc Guillot, who finished third while Cristian Ricciarini inherited the Challengers Cup victory. Gabriele Torelli (Faro Racing) finished sixth ahead of Lorenzo Nicoli, Cosimo Papi (Scuderia Costa Ovest) and Nico Abella (Chefo Sport). Gentleman Driver Alex Lancellotti (Scuderia Costa Ovest) completed the top ten.
CLIO CUP EUROPE
As Felice Jelmini is not participating in the Clio Cup Europe, Nicolas Milan won again in Italy, ahead of Marc Guillot and Cristian Ricciarini. The Frenchman did his title hopes a world of good, taking charge of the race for his own succession, while his rivals lost a lot by betting on wet tires and taking penalties.
In the Challengers Cup, Jerzy Spinkiewicz sees his winning streak come to an end with the victory for Christian Ricciarini. The Polish driver extended his lead in the category where Lorenzo Nicoli completed the podium on Sunday. Meanwhile, Stephan Polderman (Chefo Sport) takes the lead in the Gentlemen Drivers Cup thanks to his victory over Luciano Gioia (Essecorse) and Rene Steenmetz (Chefo Sport).
CLIO CUP ITALY
Saturday’s winner Felice Jelmini made it two-for-two in the Clio Cup Italia by winning over Cristian Ricciarini and Gabriele Torelli to widen the gap with his two closest rivals in the overall standings. In second overall, Cristian Ricciarini won the Challengers Cup ahead of Lorenzo Nicoli and Cosimo Papi to take the class lead. Finally, Alex Lancellotti finished tenth overall, fifth in Clio Cup Italia, but more importantly, won in Gentlemen Drivers Cup ahead of Luciano Gioia and Andrea Argenti (SI Racing Team) in a category that promises to be intensely competitive as the top five are covered with only ten points.
While the next Clio Cup Italia meeting will be in Misano on June 3-5 and the next stop of the Clio Cup Europe will be in Zandvoort on June 17-19, more than forty participants will be back in action in France within days. From Thursday, the second round of the Clio Cup France and the Clio Cup Spain will take place on the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours and the first meeting of the Clio Cup Eastern Europe!
images © DPPI / Alpine Racing