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Sonntag, 21 Januar 2024 19:09

Francisci and Otero set the pace in Andorra

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Yannick Francisci scored the maximum points on offer in round two of the Clio Ice Trophy.

Thanks to this performance on the Pas de la Casa Circuit, the Corsican driver from the Casanova Sport Auto team is now second in the general classification behind Antonio Otero (Puzzle Motorsport), the new leader after winning for a second final in as many outings.

Sixteen competitors were in the field for the second round of the calendar. For this meeting, the organisers of the Andbank GSeries prepared a different layout of the Circuit Andorra, with a shorter (567 metres), twistier and more technical track than the one used to kick off the season a week earlier.

Winners of their respective finals last Saturday, Charlie Freard (WRM by Chanoine Motorsport / SRD Racing) and Antonio Otero led the way in free practice before Yannick Francisci dislodged them from the lead on his first attempt. After several improvements at an altitude of 2,400 metres, his lap of 43.640s saw him finish the session at the top of the timesheets ahead of Charlie Freard and Alex Villacreces (Puzzle Motorsport), one of seven new drivers this weekend.

In qualifying, Antonio Otero took the lead, dominating the first group on track with a lap of 43.406s. Despite the efforts of his rivals, led by Andorran Sito Español (Puzzle Motorsport) and then Yannick Francisci, his time held up. The Spaniard took pole position for the A Final, as did Yannick Francisci for the B Final. Sito Español, Alex Villacreces and Zosimo Hernandez (Driveland) completed the top five, all within a second of each other.

The field then battled to win up to a maximum of 15 intermediate points based on the cumulative time of their six laps in Q2. Once again, Antonio Otero set the first reference time, but Yannick Francisci was both efficient and consistent to snatch first place by 0.314s. In second place, Antonio Otero scored 13 points to take command of the Clio Ice Trophy.

Starting from pole in the A Final, Antonio Otero controlled the proceedings before gradually extending his lead to win by more than five seconds over Sito Español. Charlie Freard completed the podium despite the ever-present threat of Christophe Casanova (Casanova Sport Auto). Overtaken by the two French drivers at the start, Zosimo Hernandez finished fifth ahead of Alex Queralto (Brunet Competition), who got the better of Déborrah Marie (WRM by Chanoine Motorsport / SRD Racing) and newcomer François Marie Gaffayoli (Casanova Sport Auto).

In the B Final, Yannick Francisci made the most of his pole position to break away from a field whose order changed considerably after the start. Faced with attacks from Pierre Vivier (Casanova Sport Auto), Alex Villacreces lost a lot of ground and positions, while Joaquin Rodrigo (Puzzle Motorsport) retired. Grégory Fosse (WRM by Chanoine Motorsport / SRD Racing) climbed from last to third place, followed by Alain Cusimano (WRM by Chanoine Motorsport / SRD Racing). Behind this quartet, which remained unchanged until the chequered flag, Jordi Queralto (Brunet Competition) emerged victorious from a fierce battle with Guillermo Millan (Driveland) and Alex Villacreces. After the finish, Pierre Vivier was demoted from second to seventh place after receiving a 30-second penalty for aggressive driving.

With second place in Q2 and victory in the A Final, Antonio Otero now leads the Clio Ice Trophy at the midway point of the season. Yannick Francisci moves up to second place after scoring maximum points. The title battle remains wide open, however, with seven competitors in a position to take the reins of the trophy in round three, scheduled for Saturday 3 February.

Yannick Francisci: "The feeling behind the wheel of the Clio is brilliant, and I never thought I'd have so much fun. Last week, I was discovering the ice, and I botched my start, which dropped me down the order. This time, I had a perfect run in Q2 and the Final. We couldn't have hoped for anything better, and I look forward to doing the same again in the next few rounds. Thanks to Alpine Racing for organising this trophy, and a huge thank you to Christophe Casanova and the whole Casanova Sport Auto team for their incredible work!"

General classification - Round 2/4

1. Antonio Otero 70 points

2. Yannick Francisci 62 points

3. Charlie Freard 56 points

4. Christophe Casanova 39 points

5. Volkan Isik 36 points

6. Sito Español 32 points

7. Daniel Del Villar 30 points

8. Guillermo Millan 28 points

9. Alex Queralto 26 points

10. Quentin Ribaud 25 points

11. Alain Cusimano 25 points

12. Grégory Fosse 21 points

13. Ercan Kazaz 20 points

14. Jordi Queralto 19 points

15. Alex Villacreces 15 points

16. Zosimo Hernandez 13 points

17. Pierre Vivier 13 points

18. Markel De Zabaleta 8 points

19. Déborrah Marie 5 points

20. Gautier Sarhy 4 points

21. François Marie Gaffayoli 3 points

22. Paul Trojani 3 points

23. Joaquin Rodrigo 0 point

All results and classifications are available here.

Source: Renault Media Website

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