Julien Briché has wrapped up the 2017 308 Racing Cup crown with two races remaining. A victory and a third place at this weekend’s meeting at Nevers Magny-Cours means the JSB Compétition driver has won at every one of the circuits visited by the series to date. The outcome in the Junior and Gentleman Driver classes will be settled at the year’s finale at Le Castellet, France.
> Thanks to a score of seven victories from 10 starts, Julien Briché is the inaugural 308 Racing Cup champion! After taking wins at Nogaro, Pau, Dijon and Spa, he was also first past the post in Race 1 at Magny-Cours (Saturday).
> In the Junior battle, Teddy Clairet claimed another podium finish to pull out a near-unassailable advantage in the class reserved for the competition’s youngsters.
> Magny-Cours provided the backdrop to maiden top-three finishes for Julien Gilbert and Junior Amaury Richard who both produced stand-out performances after wet weather marked the last laps of Race 1.
> The final round of the 2017 campaign will take place at Le Castellet, France, on October 13-15, when Teddy Clairet and Denis Gibaud will be out to defend their provisional leads in the Junior and Gentleman Driver classes respectively.
Julien Briché (driver, JSB Compétition):
“Jimmy and Teddy Clairet have a reputation for being quick at Magny-Cours, but I managed to follow up a good run in free practice with pole position on Saturday. Thanks to a good tyre change, I went on to win Race 1, which meant I only needed to finish in Sunday’s top nine to make sure of the title. I did all I could to beat Teddy in Race 2 but I asked too much of my tyres. I am very pleased with my year and I really wanted to finish on the podium to celebrate my title.”
Teddy Clairet (driver, Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport):
“I found my car hard to drive on cold tyres in today’s race [Race 2]. I was a little too cautious, but David [Pouget] wasn’t and we nearly collided in a big way at the start. I got away better when the race restarted. Nicolas [Milan] made a small mistake and I manage to get by him straight away. Julien [Briché] seemed to be having a bit of trouble, as well, and that enabled me to pass him, too. It would have been a great result if two of our team’s cars hadn’t collided. That spoilt the day. We are disappointed, as well, not to have won the championship. We knew Julien would be strong because of his experience and speed, but we have been a little down on luck this year which is our fifth season. There was a good entry for the series and we shouldn’t feel ashamed of the results we have obtained.”
HOW THE WEEKEND UNFOLDED…
Five drivers hit the ground running in Free Practice, with Jimmy Clairet (Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport) appearing at the top of the timesheet thanks to the best lap in the opening session. The day’s top five was rounded out by Julien Briché (JSB Compétition), Jimmy’s brother Teddy Clairet (Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport), Julien Gilbert (Malti Compétition) and Maxime Potty (JSB Compétition).
Saturday morning’s qualifying saw Julien Briché add another pole position to his season’s tally, more than half-a-second clear of Julien Gilbert, Teddy Clairet (the fastest Junior) and Maxime Potty. Christian Jaquillard (JSB Compétition), the fastest ‘Gentleman Driver’ earned a fourth-row start.
Race 1 (Saturday) was decided in the pits. After a sunny start at 1:05am local time, Julien Briché led, chased by Julien Gilbert, Teddy Clairet, Maxime Potty, Jimmy Clairet and Xavier Guyonnet. The safety car was despatched when Tomer Sisley was side-lined by a puncture. During the interruption, a heavy shower broke out and, when racing resumed, all the drivers headed for the pits to swap tyres. JSB Compétition completed the job the fastest and Julien Briché re-joined in front, followed by Amaury Richard (GPA Racing), Julien Gilbert, Christian Goure, Jimmy Clairet and Teddy Clairet as big gaps radically upset the early order. Julien Briché went on to take the win, more than 20 seconds safe of Julien Gilbert and the day’s best-placed Junior, Amaury Richard. Teddy Clairet was fourth, more than a minute adrift, ahead of Jimmy Clairet and Gentleman Driver victor Christian Goure.
Back on slicks, Julien Briché topped Sunday’s qualifying session, ahead of David Pouget (GPA Racing), with Jimmy Clairet and Nicolas Milan securing second-row starts, followed by Juniors Teddy Clairet and Maxime Potty. Christian Jaquillard was the best-placed Gentleman Drivers once more to claim another fourth-row start.
The start of the weekend’s second race saw David Pouget steal top spot until he slid wide through Grande Courbe. A collision involving Marie Baus Coppens and Christian Jaquillard brought out the safety car with the field headed by Jimmy Clairet, Julien Briché, Nicolas Milan, Teddy Clairet, Maxime Potty and David Pouget who had recovered to re-join in sixth place. When action resumed, the N°20 car passed the N°4, while the N°15 car inherited fourth place when the N°88 was eliminated. The red flag was shown following a spectacular tangle between Sylvain Pussier and Xavier Guyonnet. Jimmy Clairet took the win, followed over the line by Teddy Clairet (best-placed Junior), Julien Briché, David Pouget, Julien Gilbert and Nicolas Milan. Denis Gibaud won the Gentleman Driver class.
Race 1: J. Briché (JSB Compétition), 13 laps / J. Gilbert (Malti Compétition), +21.128s / A. Richard (GPA Racing) (Junior), +25.511s / T. Clairet (Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport) (Junior), +1m8.566s / J. Clairet (Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport), +1m10.406s / C. Goure (Saintéloc Racing Team) (Gentleman Driver), +1m36.715s. Etc.
Race 2: J. Clairet (Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport), 11 laps. / T. Clairet (Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport) (Junior), +3.585s / J. Briché (JSB Compétition), +4.808s / D. Pouget (GPA Racing), +5.380s / J. Gilbert (Malti Compétition), +6.296s / N. Milan (Milan Compétition), +13.176s. Etc.
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (after 5 of 6 meetings)
1, Julien BRICHÉ (177 points). 2, Teddy CLAIRET (116 pts, 1st Junior). 3, Jimmy CLAIRET (96). 4, Gaëtan PALETOU (71). 5, Nicolas MILAN (64). 6, David POUGET (60). 7, Amaury RICHARD (50). 8, Maxime POTTY (45). 9, Xavier GUYONNET (43). 10, Julien GILBERT (38). Etc.
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