PIERRE RAGUES AIMS TO CONTINUE ALPINE WINNING STREAK IN R-GT

Écrit par Ange Pasquali

7 August 2021

The third round of the 2021 FIA R-GT ‘Coupe du Monde’ takes place as part of the FIA World Rally Championship event, Ypres Rally Belgium, next weekend.

Pierre Ragues, winner of the R-GT category of the recent Rally di Roma Capitale, will be hoping to fly the Alpine colours once again on the tricky Belgian tarmac – an event he has never contested before.

Alongside his co-driver Julien Pesenti, Pierre will be striving to add more points to his Coupe de Monde campaign following an impressive performance in Rome which saw the French ace set the benchmark from the early stages of the rally. It required a bold new approach for Pierre as he fended off the competition from a resurgent Manu Guigou.

The performance of the Alpine A110 Rally car and the Michelin tyres enabled Pierre to move up to second place in the championship standings after the opening two rounds. The tarmac stages of Ypres Rally Belgium will be a fresh challenge for the Caen-born racer.

The event will cover 20 stages in total over a competitive distance of almost 300km. The stage profiles will feature narrow, twisty asphalt with ditches, cuts and tight junctions. Slippery conditions are expected regardless of weather conditions.

Action begins on Friday with eight full stages starting not long after shakedown. A further eight stages follow on Saturday before the rally heads towards the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Sunday. Pierre is familiar with the racetrack from his many visits in endurance racing but experiencing the area around the iconic circuit in a rally car will be a new feeling for the Frenchman. Mixing rallying with circuit racing will be a nice way to bridge Alpine’s motorsport activities, as the marque builds momentum from its recent victory in F1 with Esteban Ocon.

Pierre said: “To be a brand ambassador for Alpine is very special but particularly after the team’s F1 victory in Hungary last weekend. It was a thrilling race to watch, and I am delighted for everyone, including Esteban Ocon. It is now our turn again, as we face the famous Ypres Rally Belgium, an event I have never done in my career before. Of course, we will be completing the rally around the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit but before that we have many challenging tarmac stages. We had a good weekend in Roma but Ypres is something very new and special. It will be learning weekend for me, once again alongside Julien, but we have high hopes and will push for some more points in the Coupe du Monde. As always, we approach the rally with focus and with the support of my partners Racing Services, Michelin, YACCO, First, Alpine MSA Deauville and Sparco.”

Ypres Rally Belgium Itinerary

Friday 13 August
SS1 Reninge-Vleteren 15km
SS2 Westouter-Boeschepe 19.60km
SS3 Kemmelberg 23.62km
SS4 Zonnebeke 9.45km
SS5 Reninge-Vleteren 15km
SS6 Westouter-Boeschepe 19.60km
SS7 Kemmelberg 23.62km
SS8 Zonnebeke 9.45km

Saturday 14 August
SS9 Hollebeke 25.86km
SS10 Dikkebus 12.49km
SS11 Watou 13.62km
SS12 Mesen-Middelhoek 7.99km
SS13 Hollebeke 25.86km
SS14 Dikkebus 12.49km
SS15 Watou 13.62km
SS16 Mesen-Middelhoek 7.99km

Sunday 15 August
SS17 Stavelot 9.05km
SS18 Francorchamps 11.21km
SS19 Stavelot 9.05km
SS20 Francorchamps 11.21km

Coupe du Monde – Classification after two rounds

  1. Manu Guigou, 43 points
  2. Pierre Ragues, 37 points
  3. Philippe Baffoun, 22 points

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