This weekend’s Peugeot 308 Racing Cup action in Belgium – as a curtain-raiser attraction ahead of the 2017 24 Hours of Spa – saw Julien Briché continue his domination of the series. The JSB Compétition driver took the meeting’s two victories to pull out an enviable cushion in the chase for the 2017 title.
♦ Exactly a year after making its competitive debut at Spa-Francorchamps, the Peugeot 308 Racing Cup was back in action this weekend at the notoriously selective and complex circuit in the Belgian Ardennes where its speed and competitiveness did not go unnoticed. The weekend’s fastest lap (2m33.380s) was posted by Julien Briché.
♦ Two pole positions and a brace of wins in Belgium helped Julien Briché to take a step closer to the inaugural 308 Racing Cup’s top prize. He has now won six of the eight races contested to date and is almost 50 points clear of his closest chaser, Teddy Clairet.
♦ In the Junior battles, Belgium’s Maxime Potty and French youngster Teddy Clairet scored a win apiece, while Christian Jaquillard pocketed both Gentleman Driver victories.
♦ The competition’s Belgian drivers were on form on home turf at Spa-Francorchamps. Frédéric Caprasse came fourth thanks to a spectacular run in the first race and Maxime Potty followed up his Junior triumph on Friday with fifth overall on Saturday.
JULIEN BRICHE (JSB COMPETITION): WINNER, RACES 1 AND 2
“It turned out to be a perfect weekend for me. I was fastest in free practice, I started the two races from pole position and I went on to win them both. We’re in the lead as things stand but a mistake can happen at any time. The important thing is to pocket the points whenever I can and keep giving it my very best shot right up to the very last round at Le Castellet. There’s still a long way to go…”
HOW THE WEEKEND UNFOLDED
- Friday morning’s action at Spa-Francorchamps saw Julien Briché (JSB Compétition) claim the fastest lap in Qualifying 1 around the famous seven-kilometre circuit. Junior driver Gaëtan Paletou (Milan Compétition) was more than six-tenths of a second off the pace, while Nicolas Milan (Milan Compétition) and Jimmy Clairet (Pussier Automobiles by Pussier Compétition) qualified on the second row, more than 1.2s back.
- In Race 1, Julien Briché emerged in front out of La Source but Nicolas Milan squeezed into the lead on the run down to Eau Rouge. Julien Briché recovered first place on the second lap, however, while a tangle involving Gaëtan Paletou and Teddy Clairet (Pussier Automobiles by Pussier Compétition) handed a footing on the provisional podium to Jimmy Clairet. Julien Briché went on to take the win, ahead of Jimmy Clairet and Nicolas Milan. Frédéric Caprasse (GPA Racing) was the first Belgian driver past the flag thanks to a spectacular drive that allowed him to finish clear of his compatriot Maxime Potty (JSB Compétition) who topped the Junior class. Christian Jaquillard (JSB Compétition) was the first Gentleman Driver over the line.
- The gaps were significantly narrower in qualifying for Race 2, with five drivers – including three Juniors – blanketed by a second. Julien Briché earned pole position again, this time ahead of Teddy Clairet, Jimmy Clairet, Gaëtan Paletou and Maxime Potty.
- In Race 2, Julien Briché emerged as the man to beat once more, chased by a pack led by Junior leader Teddy Clairet, Jimmy Clairet, Gaëtan Paletou and Maxime Potty. Frédéric Caprasse kept spectators entertained again thanks to his duelling further down the order with Xavier Fouineau (JSB Compétition), Matthieu de Robiano (DRM by GPA Racing), Nicolas Milan and Julien Gilbert (Malti Compétition). Christian Jaquillard collected his second Gentleman Driver victory of the weekend.
Next round: Magny-Cours, France (September 8-10).
Race 1: J. Briché (JSB Compétition), 11 laps / J. Clairet (Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport), +1.992s / N. Milan (Milan Compétition), +8.906s / F. Caprasse (GPA Racing), +9.067s / M. Potty (JSB Compétition) (Junior), +10.018s. Etc.
Race 2: J. Briché (JSB Compétition), 11 laps / T. Clairet (Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport) (Junior), +2.221s / J. Clairet (Pussier Automobiles by Clairet Sport), +2.649s / G. Paletou (Milan Compétition) (Junior), +3.126s / M. Potty (JSB Compétition) (Junior), +3.509s. Etc.
Provisional standings: J. Briché (142 points) / T. Clairet (91) / Gaëtan Paletou (71) / J. Clairet (68) / N. Milan (58). Etc.
Selected video footage (available from 9:00pm CET): www.youtube.com/peugeotsportofficial/
Edited video (to be published on July 30): www.facebook.com/peugeotsport/
Race replays: https://www.facebook.com/308RACINGCUP/
Copyright-free photos (credit: F. Duhamel / Full Frame) and videos (Okapi) for editorial use: www.peugeot-media.com & www.flickr.com/photos/308racingcup/
Technical data: http://www.peugeot-sport.com/fr/308-racing-cup-voiture/