308 RACING CUP – ROUND #1, NOGARO TEDDY CLAIRET DRAWS FIRST BLOOD IN 2018
Mon, 02/04/2018 - 23:45
The new season of the 308 Racing Cup fired into life as part of the Easter Cup race meeting at Nogaro, with no fewer than 22 entries underscoring the series’ burgeoning success. Ultimately, however, it was the top two from 2017 who reasserted their supremacy in the 2018 curtain-raiser, as Teddy Clairet and Julien Briché shared the weekend’s victories.
- The success of the inaugural campaign of the 308 Racing Cup last season was corroborated by an impressive 22-strong grid this time around at Nogaro, with series returnees joined by a clutch of big-name arrivals including Marc Guillot and Fabio Mota.
- The ‘Juniors’ were quick to make their presence felt in the opener, with Teddy Clairet winning Race 1 outright and annexing the early championship lead, and Amaury Richard reaching the rostrum the following day.
- Defending title-holder Julien Briché held his own with victory in Race 2, while Stéphane Ventaja doubled up in the ‘Gentlemen’ class.
SUNDAY, APRIL 1 – RACE 1
Teddy Clairet sped to his first pole position in the 308 Racing Cup ahead of brother Jimmy, as the Team Clairet Sport pairing outpaced David Pouget (GPA Racing) and JSB Compétition’s Julien Briché. Amaury Richard placed fifth for GPA Racing, less than two tenths-of-a-second adrift of the top spot.
Despite making a fleet getaway when the starting lights went out, Teddy Clairet came unstuck early on the opening lap of the race, slipping to fourth and leaving the door open for his sibling to seize the initiative. The qualifying pace-setter wasted little time in fighting back, however, overhauling Briché before taking advantage of a scrap between Pouget and his brother Jimmy to regain the lead. Teddy would go on to take the chequered flag more than five seconds clear of Jimmy, completing the hat-trick with pole position and fastest race lap and similarly lifting the ‘Junior’ laurels. Briché, Pouget and series newcomer Marc Guillot rounded out the top five.
MONDAY, APRIL 2 – RACE 2
Julien Briché was the runaway pace-setter in the second qualifying session, winding up a commanding six tenths-of-a-second clear of ‘Juniors’ Amaury Richard and Teddy Clairet. Jimmy Clairet joined his brother on the second row of the grid in fourth.
The pole position man made the best start at lights-out and went on to seal a comfortable success, as Teddy Clairet jumped Richard in the early phases of the race – a move that would prove decisive in the duel for second. Having qualified further down the order, meanwhile, Pouget was one of the stars of the show and the reigning 208 Racing Cup champion scythed his way through the field to finish just shy of the podium in fourth. Julien Briché took the laurels, however, ahead of Juniors Teddy Clairet and Amaury Richard.
Teddy Clairet made it back-to-back ‘Junior’ triumphs, ahead of Florian Briché and Amaury Richard. Stéphane Ventaja similarly doubled up in the ‘Gentlemen’ category, with Denis Gibaud finishing runner-up on both occasions.
“There is a bit more traffic to manage than last year, with all these extra 308 Racing Cup cars on-track! I made a good start in Sunday’s race, but then I lost the lead with a mistake that was entirely my own fault. Fortunately, I had an excellent car underneath me and I was able to fight my way back through to win. After going all of last year without winning a race, that was obviously a great source of satisfaction. Qualifying the next day was extremely tight. I made a reasonable start to the race and had a good battle with Amaury [Richard]. I passed him before mid-distance, but he seemed to look after his tyres a bit better than me and I really had to work hard to keep him behind towards the end. With a win, second place and fastest lap, I am very happy with my weekend.”
“The first qualifying session didn’t go according to plan; I took too much out of my tyres early on, and the fastest laps were all set towards the end. I had no answer for Teddy [Clairet] in Race 1, and I was mindful of not taking any undue risks that might throw away a podium finish. Today, I put together a near-perfect lap in qualifying to secure pole position. After that, I made a good start, got the hammer down early on and from there on in, I was able to manage the race quite comfortably.”
“Race 2 marked only my second front row start in the 308 Racing Cup, after Magny-Cours last year. I got a good start and could probably have made a bid for the lead, but I preferred to play it safe. I lacked a bit of pace early in the race, but I’m delighted to finish on the podium.”
“The weekend got off to a tricky start in practice, as I struggled to figure out how to get the best out of the track. Teddy then made a mistake at the beginning of race one, which gifted me the lead. I knew he was a little bit faster than me here and when I came together with David Pouget at the end of the main straight, Teddy was able to leapfrog us both. I couldn’t match his pace after that, but congratulations to him for kicking the season off with a win, and also to Stéphane Ventaja, who emerged on top in the ‘Gentlemen’ class. It’s been a good weekend for the team.”
2018 308 Racing Cup, next round: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, June 1-3, SPA EURO RACE meeting.
Final classification - 308 Racing Cup / Nogaro / Race 1:
- Teddy Clairet – Team Clairet Sport, 18 laps (Junior)
- Jimmy Clairet – Team Clairet Sport, +5.609s
- Julien Briché – JSB Compétition, +6.861s
- David Pouget – GPA Racing, +7.302s
- Marc Guillot – Milan Compétition, +23.199s
- Nicolas Milan – Milan Compétition, +26.675s
- Florian Briché – JSB Compétition, +30.328s (Junior)
- Fabio Mota – JSB Compétition, +31.507s
- Sylvain Pussier – Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport, +33.958s
- Stéphane Ventaja – Team Clairet Sport, +34.315s (Gentleman)
Final classification - 308 Racing Cup / Nogaro / Race 2:
- Julien Briché – JSB Compétition, 18 laps
- Teddy Clairet – Team Clairet Sport, +2.946s (Junior)
- Amaury Richard – GPA Racing, +3.141s (Junior)
- David Pouget – GPA Racing, +3.762s
- Jimmy Clairet – Team Clairet Sport, +12.409s
- Marc Guillot – Milan Compétition, +12.732s
- Nicolas Milan – Milan Compétition, +18.389s
- Gaetan Paletou – Milan Compétition, +26.011s (Junior)
- Fabio Mota – JSB Compétition, +44.335s
- Sylvain Pussier – Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport, +44.589s
2018 308 Racing Cup – Provisional standings after Nogaro (Round 1 of 6):
- Teddy Clairet – Team Clairet Sport, 38 points (Junior)
- Julien Briché – JSB Compétition, 33 points
- Jimmy Clairet – Team Clairet, 23 points
- David Pouget – GPA Racing, 20 points
- Marc Guillot – Milan Compétition, 14 points
- Amaury Richard – GPA Racing, 13 points (Junior)
- Nicolas Milan – Milan Compétition, 11 points
- Fabio Mota – JSB Compétition, 7 points
- Florian Briché – JSB Compétition, 5 points (Junior)
Ex. Sylvain Pussier – Pussier Automobiles, 5 points
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Photo credit: Peugeot Sport / Flavien Duhamel
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Action footage of Races 1 and 2: https://www.facebook.com/308RACINGCUP/
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