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Fabrice Bect wins an intense battle in Rhône-Charbonnières

Fabrice Bect remporte une bataille intense au Rhône-Charbonnières
Fabrice Bect wins an intense battle in Rhône-Charbonnières

Fabrice Bect wins an intense battle in Rhône-Charbonnières

      • The Alpine Elf Rallye Trophy kicked off this weekend at the Rallye Rhône-Charbonnières with a record field.

      • Fabrice Bect claimed his second consecutive victory after a breathtaking battle with Grégory Fontalba and Ludovic Godard in extremely tricky weather conditions.

      • The Alpine A110 Rally also won the French Two-Wheel Drive Rally Championship in the hands of Cédric Robert.

Fabrice Bect remporte une bataille intense au Rhône-Charbonnières

The Trophée Alpine Elf Rallye launched its third season with the largest service park in its young history in Charbonnières-les-Bains.

Victorious in the final last year, Fabrice Bect started the year as he finished the previous one by immediately taking the lead ahead of Ludovic Godard and Grégory Fontalba. Title holder, the latter responded straight away to take the lead, but Fabrice Bect regained his lead midway through the day by 1”6. Ludovic Godard was 5”2 behind the leaders, while having the same advantage over Jean-François Mourgues.

The fight intensified in the afternoon. Author of the best time in Bibost – Montrottier – Brullioles 2 and Saint-Clément – Villechenève 2, Grégory Fontalba returned to first place, but the conditions and the choice of tires in the last test played in favor of Fabrice Bect, who finished the stage two tenths of a second ahead. Ludovic Godard remained in ambush by finishing the first day of action at 8”1 while distancing Jean-François Mourgues and Jérémy Crétien, who were also involved in a breathtaking duel.

On Saturday, the gaps narrowed even further with Ludovic Godard’s first scratch in SS7. Fabrice Bect reacted to take an advantage of seven seconds after the longest special stage of the course, but Grégory Fontalba did not give up and converted his deficit of 8”1 into a lead of 8”5 thanks to a judicious bet on a slightly humid. However, the leader was going to lose big by going off the road at the start of the decisive loop.

Promoted to the lead, Fabrice Bect drove the point home in the penultimate test before sealing his overall victory with a margin of 20”2 over Ludovic Godard. The Gentlemen of Team FJ also won in his class with a 54”3 lead over Jean-François Mourgues, who took advantage of a small error from Jérémy Crétien to take third place on the podium. Code Racing Development driver, the latter however won among the Challengers. Vincent Leduc completed the Gentlemen podium ahead of Bertrand Fassio, Romain Haut-Labourdette and Éric Royère while Éric Giannini and Élodie Gines followed in that order.

Alongside the trophy, the Alpine A110 Rallys shone while mingling with the best four-wheel drive vehicles in the French Rally Championship. Always present at the forefront of the event, Cédric Robert ranked sixth and won the two-wheel drive category ahead of Raphaël Astier and Fabrice Bect. For his debut with the brand with the A arrow, Stéphane Lefebvre was also in the leading trio before a rollover on SS6.

The competitors in the Trophée Alpine Elf Rallye will meet next month for the Rallye Antibes Côte d’Azur (May 18-20, 2023).

Fabrice Bect: “We have made further progress since our victory at Var last year. We really understood how the Alpine A110 Rally worked and we put it to good use in this great three-way battle against Ludovic Godard and Grégory Fontalba. This intense fight was cut short in the last loop with Grégory’s exit and I’m sorry for him, but I hope we can resume the match in Antibes! »

Jérémy Crétien: “It was a superb weekend where we learned a lot about the car in difficult conditions and with tire choices giving us a hard time. I am disappointed with our little mistake which cost us the podium. We lost around ten seconds, but we gave everything in the last special with a great time which unfortunately was not enough. We will take our revenge in Antibes! »

1. Fabrice Bect – Arnaud Michal 1h54’56”5
2. Ludovic Godard – Matthieu Bole-Richard +20”2
3. Jean-François Mourgues – Michel Roissard +54”3
4. Jérémy Crétien – Xavier Rouchouze +56”1
5. Vincent Leduc – Caroline Puel +2’02”5
6. Bertrand Fassio – Jean-François de Montredon +3’13”0
7. Romain Haut-Labourdette – Fabien Tardito +5’15”7
8. Éric Royère – Gilbert Dini +5’21”1
9. Éric Giannini – Alexandre Denuzière +5’55”2
10. Élodie Gines – Lisa Tornior +12’13’’5
Ab. Grégory Fontalba – Stéphan Hermet

General classification
1. Fabrice Bect 20 points
2. Ludovic Godard 15 points
3. Jean-François Mourgues 12 points
4. Jérémy Crétien 10 points
5. Vincent Leduc 8 points
6. Bertrand Fassio 6 points
7. Romain Haut-Labourdette 4 points
8. Éric Royère 3 points
9. Eric Giannini 2 points
10. Élodie Gines 1 point
11. Grégory Fontalba 0 points