Even more spectacular than the season opener, round two of Clio Trophy France Terre saw many twists and turns on a tricky Rallye Castine Terre d’Occitanie.
Florian Condamines and co-driver Damien Jole struck the perfect balance in their approach to avoid the dangers and claim their first win with Clio Rally5 ahead of Florian Bouchonneau and Jeanne Rey; who now lead an incredibly open overall standings. Tom Vauclare and Frédéric Vauclare completed the podium in their trophy debut.
While an initial pecking order was set on the Causses, the opening stages of the Castine delivered a dramatically different scenario. Just 27th in the season opener, Mattéo Chatillon set the best time in the first timed sector, while Sam Taveneau was the first favorite to retire due to a transmission problem. Eighth on SS1, Julien Pontal was fastest in SS2, where Florian Bouchonneau took the lead, but Mattéo Chatillon took the lead again before moving into the afternoon shift.
These same stages created a different order in the second loop. Jean-Paul Monnin, only 22nd due to a brake hose problem, reminded his rivals of his speed by dominating SS4, causing several punctures. Meanwhile, Florian Condamines became the third different leader in just four stages, finishing the day ahead of Florian Bouchonneau by 17.3 seconds. Tom Vauclare, Romain Di-Fante and Maxime Lafon followed in this order despite the efforts of Julien Pontal and Faniry Rasoamaromaka in the last two stages of the day.
The crews started the second stage with the Jean Ragnotti Power Stage, where the five fastest duos were rewarded. Florian Bouchonneau led the way and collected the maximum five bonus points, reducing Florian Condamines’ lead to 9.0s, but the latter answered with his first stage win to extend his lead to 27.5s.
The Florians witnessed new punctures that put an end to the hopes of other drivers, such as Julien Pontal and Romain Di-Fante, and managed to lead their race on the final loop. Florian Condamines took his first win by more than a minute over Junior Florian Bouchonneau. Tom Vauclare completed the podium, finishing 8.8 seconds ahead of Gentleman Laurent Reuche, who gradually improved his performance during his trophy debut. Julien Pontal moved back up to fifth place, while Faniry Rasoamaromaka and John Laroche defeated Benjamin Boulenc in the closing kilometers of the rally. Jean-Paul Monnin battled his problems well on Saturday, finishing ninth, followed by Eric Royère.
With two second results in 2022, Junior Florian Bouchonneau takes the lead in the Clio Trophy France Terre ahead of Florian Condamines, Jean-Paul Monnin, Faniry Rasoamaromaka and Julien Pontal in a top five with just 15 points. Saillat Loc is only eight points behind Fun Meca Sport in the team classification, while Garage De Sousa still leads the Renault Network Challenge.
Florian Condamines: “I’m so happy I won. I am someone who likes to get into trouble. I have already raced R5s and Rally2s on gravel and tarmac, but this year I wanted to take on the Clio Trophy France Terre challenge to have more competition and battle against the youngsters. I was disappointed with our result on the Causses. Although we were fast at times, I was not satisfied with seventh place. We came to the Castine with the intention of doing better. We were instantly in the fray even when we lost a few seconds with another competitor on SS2. We were a bit more successful in the second loop, dodging the punctures and we started to believe that the win was possible. Knowing only how to attack, maybe too much, or how to play it safe, I lost some time trying to balance the Power Stage. I was a bit upset and I had to keep the bit between my teeth to make enough difference in the next stage and manage the last loop to avoid punctures on these very rough roads. I am delighted to have chosen the Clio Trophy France Terre. There is competition all over the field and that is exactly what I want. Now it’s up to us to give it another try in Langres!”
After two intense rounds, the Clio Trophy France Terre teams will meet again this summer at Rallye Terre de Langres (July 22-24) as part of the FFSA French Gravel Rally Championship.
Rallye Castine Terre d’Occitanie 2022
Clio Trophy France Terre
1. Florian Condamines – Damien Jole 1h39:54.5s
2. Florian Bouchonneau – Jeanne Rey (J) +1:01.7s
3. Tom Vauclare – Fréderic Vauclare (J) +2:19.0s
4. Laurent Reuche – Jean Dériaz (G) +2:27.8s
5. Julien Pontal – Loan Biagetti (J) +3:04.1s
6. Faniry Rasoamaromaka – Judi Rakatomalala (J) +3:08.5s
7. John Laroche – Pierrick Dupas +3:15.5s
8. Benjamin Boulenc – Chloé Barozzi-Gauze +3:30.8s
9. Jean Paul Monnin – Sandra Chipaux +3:45.4s
10. Éric Royère – Gilbert Dini (G) +6:18.6s
11. Lilian Vialle – Manuel Ghirardello (G) +8:09.6s
12. Pierre-Yves Esparcieux – Mathieu Guerin +10:01.4s
13. Vincent Favre-Miville – Cédric Causse +10:06.7s
14. Justin Tamisier – Laurent Tamisier (J) +12:39.1s
15. Claudie Tanghe – Jean-Christian d’Ennetières (G) +15:12.8s
16. Baptiste Panissié – Gaël Lavernhe (J) +16:34.0s
17. Mika Rasoamaromaka – Bastien Pouget (J) +16:44.9s
18. Bastien Bergounhe – Mathieu Descharne (J) +33:55.3s
DNF Romain Di-Fante – Patrick Chiappe (J)
DNF Frédéric Perrard – Francis Leclercq (G)
DNF Marcel Abad – Pere Requena (J)
DNF Simon Heinemann – Yves Heinemann
DNF Mattéo Chatillon – Cédric Santini (J)
DNF Maxime Lafon – Thomas Delmas (J)
DNF Thomas Mouysset – Lucas Gineste (J)
DNF Gaël Alquier – Marion Alquier-Ceres
DNF François Fraymouth – Romain Felicelli
DNF Jean Lavigne – Aurélie Vedrine (J)
DNF Sam Taveneau – Pauline Boyer (J)