A lot of excitement at the debut of the Clio Trophy Portugal

The excellent debut of the Clio Trophy Portugal in national rallies, with experience imposing itself on the youth in the Lisbon Rally – Memorial Joaquim Santos: victory for the duo Gil Antunes/Diogo Correia, after a fantastic duel with Pedro Pereira Jr./Tiago Silva.

A fifth time overall achieved by one of the trophy cars, as well as the final fourth place – and victory between the two driven wheels – of the Clio Rally4 by the duo Gonçalo Henriques/Inês Veiga confirms the Renault Clio as the perfect solution for those who want to give the first steps in rallying. The Clio Trophy Portugal returns on the 21st and 22nd of June, with the Castelo Branco Rally.

Forty years after its debut, Renault Portugal confirmed its return to the competition, with the debut event of the Clio Trophy Portugal, a competitive and affordable single-brand trophy based on the Clio Rally5.

2º pedro pereira jr.
2º Pedro Pereira jr. < Clio Trophy Portugal

At the Lisbon Rally – Memorial Joaquim Santos, the first day was marked by bad weather conditions and the superiority of the young duo Pedro Pereira Jr./Tiago Silva. The 31-second advantage over their most direct opponents seemed difficult to cancel. Still, Gil Antunes and co-driver Diogo Correia set out determined to offset this disadvantage, completely dominating Saturday’s qualifying stages and finishing the rally with a comfortable margin of 38 seconds.

In the end, at Cascais Marina, the winners of the first race on the Clio Trophy Portugal calendar could not hide their satisfaction with their success: “We are very happy. It’s a victory that has an exceptional flavour, having been achieved at ‘home’”, he began by recognizing Gil Antunes. “The first day was very difficult, with the weather conditions that were felt and we chose not to take any risks. Today, we started the day completely on the attack. We made a good choice of tyres, I felt pretty good with the car and the times reflected that. The fifth time overall, achieved in Peninha, also confirms the competitiveness of the Clio Rally5. This result opens up excellent prospects for the rest of the season and a good fight is expected with the kids who are participating in the trophy”.

After finishing the opening day of the Lisbon Rally in the lead of the Clio Trophy Portugal, the duo Pedro Pereira Jr./Tiago Silva could not resist Gil Antunes’ attack on Saturday. “Yesterday was quite positive, despite the weather conditions, but today it was quite difficult. In addition to a poor choice of tyres, Gil Antunes was very strong and I couldn’t keep up with his pace. Therefore, second place is a good result, which opens up good prospects for the rest of the season”.

3º danny carreira
3º Danny Carreira < Clio Trophy Portugal

By finishing in the last place on the podium, the Danny Carreira/Marco Vilas Boas duo was one of the good surprises of the inaugural Clio Trophy Portugal race. From the first day, the Swiss-based driver fought for the top spots, even winning two stages and, in the end, he admitted his surprise at having been so competitive: “Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this result, not least because I didn’t know the classifications like my opponents. The first day was very complicated, and today was not easy either, due to a wrong choice of tyres, so third place was fantastic for our debut in the trophy”.

If, on the opening day, with the difficult weather conditions that were felt, the duo Nuno Coelho/Ricardo Cunha was fighting for first place, on Saturday, “a wrong choice of tyres made the car quite difficult to drive. Therefore, the result ends up being positive. Come Castelo Branco”, said the Porto pilot.

The duo José Pedro Quintas/Nuno Carvalhosa closed the front quintet, with the young driver from Viana do Castelo stating: “I enjoyed this first experience. The first day was very complicated, but today (Saturday) I accumulated important kilometres and managed to set a good pace”.

After several seasons in regional rallying, the duo Paulo Barata/Roberto Santos finished the first race on the Clio Trophy Portugal calendar in sixth place. “It was all new, but it was a good learning experience, with good feelings”, highlighted the pilot.

clio trophy portugal
Clio Trophy Portugal

The Algarve duo, Vasco Tintim/Francisco Ponte, finished the Lisbon Rally – Memorial Joaquim Santos in seventh place, with the driver stating: “The experience was worth it, in which everything was new to me. The first day was terrible, but I liked the car.”

After having “lost” a wheel from the Clio Rally5 on the first day, the duo Luís Caetano/David Monteiro faced Saturday’s qualifying rounds with a single objective: “Accumulate kilometres in the car and gain experience on asphalt surfaces”, said the Leiriense, National champion in the title, off-road, in the T2 category.

Due to accidents, although without physical consequences, the pairs Dário Rebelo/António Pereira Henrique Azenha/Hugo Marques were forced to withdraw on the first day, the same happened with Carlos Marreiros Jr./Nuno Duque, on Saturday, but due to the breakage of the direction.

Clio Trophy Portugal
Lisbon Rally – Joaquim Santos Memorial

  • 1st Gil Antunes / Diogo Correia, 1h01m16.3s
  • 2nd Pedro Pereira Jr. / Tiago Silva, 38s
  • 3rd Danny Carreira / Marco Vilas Boas, 50.3s
  • 4th Nuno Coelho / Ricardo Cunha, 2m57.5s
  • 5th José Pedro Quintas / Nuno Carvalhosa, 4m20.4s
  • 6th Paulo Barata / Roberto Santos, 5m04.3s
  • 7th Vasco Tintin / Francisco Ponte, 8m00.1s
  • 8th Luís Caetano / David Monteiro, 20m04.7s

Didn’t finish: Dário Rebelo/António Pereira, Henrique Azenha / Hugo Marques and Carlos Marreiros Jr. / Nuno Duque.

Qualifier winners: Gil Antunes (6); Pedro Pereira Jr. (4); Danny Carreira (2).

Leaders: Pedro Pereira Jr. PE1 to PE9, Gil Antunes PE10 to PE13.

Next race: Castelo Branco Rally, June 21st and 22nd.

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