The next clash of the 2016 208 Rally Cup is the 31st Rallye Vosgien which is a round of the second-division French Rally Championship. After two outings on dirt, the 17-strong field of 208 R2s faces some extremely selective asphalt stages near picturesque Lake Gerardmer in France’s Vosges Mountains.
The gap between William Wagner (PH Sport) and Pepe Lopez (Sainteloc Racing) at the top of the provisional standings stands at just one point ahead of this weekend’s Rallye Vosgien. The former is consequently under formidable pressure as the series moves on to next round. That said, he is one of the few registered drivers who can claim previous experience of this event. He is also currently on a run of two back-to-back wins which saw him take the championship lead after the Rallye Terre de Lozère three weeks ago. Meanwhile, his arch rival Lopez won the year’s opening event and has posted the highest number of fastest stage times on three occasions after vying for victory on all of the rounds contested so far.
Although he has tended to figure more strongly on the loose, Patrick Magnou (Pitstop), who is third in the provisional order, will be back on his favourite type of surface and a top result could well put him back into the frame. The same can be said for Jérémie Toedtli (CHL Sport Auto). Like Wagner and Lopez, the Switzerland driver is a Junior and he was poorly rewarded for his strong showing on the recent Terre de Lozère. He will be hoping for another top performance if he is to stay in the hunt for the top prize at the end of the season. A little further back are Nil Solans (Mavisa Sport) and Andrea Carella (Power Car Team). The latter won the only asphalt round of the year to date (Antibes) and both have a real chance of taking the weekend’s win. Another driver to watch is Quentin Ribaud (CHL Sport Auto) who has scored at every round of his maiden participation in the 208 Rally Cup.
The constantly improving Aki Sahila (CHL Sport Auto) will no doubt give it his very best shot as he attempts to harvest points on the sealed-surface round, as will Jean-Paul Monnin (JPM Sport Auto) and Joachim Wagemans (Triman). Also on the entry list for the Rallye Vosgien are Yann Clairay (PH Sport), Taisko Lario (CHL Sport Auto), Efren Llarena (Raceseven), Joel Guerrero (GC Motorsport) and Jose Luis Pelaez (Raceseven), plus 208 Rally Cup newcomers Eddy Marchal (PH Sport) and Inaki Narbaiza (Raceseven).
All these drivers face a menu of 175 competitive kilometres in the Gerardmer region. The stages include classics like ‘Corcieux' and ‘Tendon’, while the first leg features the added challenge of night-time action.
Friday, September 16
2:00pm: Start and Service A (20 minutes) / Gerardmer
2:55pm : SS1 - Le Fossard (22.310 km)
3:50pm: SS2 - Le Haut du Tot (14.230 km)
4:30pm: Regroup (120 minutes) - Gerardmer
6:30pm: Service B (60 minutes) - Gerardmer
8:05pm: SS3 - Le Fossard (22.310 km)
9:00pm: SS4 - Le Haut du Tot (14.230 km)
9:40pm: Finish Leg 1 - Gerardmer
Saturday, September 17
7:30am: Start and Service C (40 minutes) / Gerardmer
8:35am: SS5 - Boslimpre (5.920 km)
9:30am: SS6 - Raids de Robache (13.180 km)
9:55am: SS7 -Chatas (12.390 km)
11:25am: SS8 - Corcieux (19.590 km)
12:00 noon: Regroup (45 minutes) - Corcieux
1:10pm: Service D (45 minutes) - Gerardmer
2:20pm: SS9 - Boslimpre (5.920 km)
3:15pm: SS10 - Raids de Robache (13.180 km)
3:40pm: SS11 -Chatas (12.390 km)
5:10pm: SS12 - Corcieux (19.590 km)
5:35pm: Order-change Park (20 minutes) - Gerardmer
6:00pm: Event finish - Gerardmer
William Wagner / Antoine Paque (PH SPORT) – Junior
Pepe Lopez / Borja Rozada (SAINTELOC JUNIOR TEAM) – Junior
Patrick Magnou / Benoît Manzo (PIT STOP)
Jérémie Toedtli / Alexandre Chio (CHL SPORT AUTO) – Junior
Nil Solans / Miquel Ibanez (MAVISA SPORT)
Andrea Carella / Enrico Bracchi (POWER CAR TEAM)
Quentin Ribaud / Benoît Balme (CHL SPORT AUTO) – Junior
Aki Sahila / Rami Suorsa (CHL SPORT AUTO) – Junior
Jean-Paul Monnin / Franck Gilliot (JPM RACING)
Joachim Wagemans / Andy De Baeremaeker (TRIMAN) – Junior
Yann Clairay / Frédéric Goupil (PH SPORT)
Taisko Lario / Sami Ryynänen (CHL SPORT AUTO) – Junior
Llarena Efren / Sara Fernandez (RACESEVEN) – Junior
Eddy Marchal / Alison Girard (PH Sport)
Jose Luis Pelaez Olivares / Enrique Velasco Alonso (RACESEVEN)
Joël Guerrero Seuma / Xevi Moreno Balzquez (GC Motorsport)
Inaki Narbaiza / Unai Etxeberria (Raceseven)
1, William Wagner (Junior), 60 points. 2, Pepe Lopez (Junior), 59. 3, Patrick Magnou, 28. 4, Jérémie Toedtli (Junior), 24. 5, Nil Solans and Andrea Carella, 22. 7, Quentin Ribaud (Junior), 20. 8, Jean-Baptiste Franceschi (Junior), 15. 9, Emmanuel Gascou, 14. 10, Guillaume de Mevius (Junior), 13. Etc.