Pierre Ragues is aiming to extract maximum performance from himself and the competitive Alpine A110 Rally car at the season finale of the FIA R-GT World Cup, which takes place during the forthcoming World Rally Championship event, Rally de España.
The all-tarmac event will be a brand-new challenge for Pierre, as he continues to represent Alpine on the world’s rally stages. The French ace is also an ambassador for tyre manufacturer Michelin, who have also played an important role in his 2021 campaign to date.
The 17-stage rally, taking place 15-17 October with the Service Park based at Salou, will see crews tackle a 280.46km stage distance culminating in the Riudecanyes Power Stage on Sunday lunchtime. Pierre will be joined, once again, by Julien Pesenti in the co-driving seat, as the pair aim to end a competitive season in the best way possible.
Heading into the final round, Pierre tops the R-GT classification after the four rounds to date, having taken consecutive victories in the class at Rally di Roma Capitale and Ypres Rally Belgium. A recent podium at Nova Gorica kept the Frenchman in the lead by 12 points, but he is keeping his feet on the ground in the last event of the season.
Pierre will draw upon his collective tarmac experience during this season, which also included a participation in Rally Croatia back in April, aiming to do himself justice, as well as his array of partners: Racing Services, Michelin, YACCO, First, Alpine MSA Deauville and Sparco.
Away from competition, Pierre was recently elected President of the Ligue Automobile de Normandie, further strengthening his reputation and professional credentials in motorsport.
Pierre Ragues Q+A
Pierre, how are you feeling heading into the final round of the R-GT title fight?
“The final round of the 2021 R-GT championship will be another exciting challenge for me, as I tackle Rally de España for the first time. It’s always special to compete as part of the WRC weekend but I remain focused on my job, working alongside Julien closely, to deliver to the best of our ability – and to represent Alpine and Michelin at the highest level. Whatever happens, I want to look back on this season knowing we couldn’t have done any more.
How do you reflect on the season so far?
“I have had a fantastic season up to now, and I’ve enjoyed it hugely. The Alpine A110 Rally has been an exceptionally fun car to drive, quick and competitive, and I am sure that will be the case again in Spain. During the season, we have gathered a lot of knowledge on some tricky but enjoyable roads, and the classic asphalt stages in Catalunya will be another fantastic experience for me in the Alpine A110 Rally, a car in which I feel completely at home.”
Are you confident in your ability to secure the title?
“I am under no illusions about the challenge that awaits me in Spain. There are very talented crews in this series, and with more experience than I have, so I am just trying to stay concentrated. There are no guarantees, but we will of course fight our hardest. We might have a points advantage now, but that can quickly change, so we must keep our feet on the ground, and take things stage by stage, to do the best we can. I have incredibly support from my partners Michelin, YACCO, First, Alpine MSA Deauville, Sparco and the wonderful team at Racing Services, so I want to repay their faith in me with a strong result in Spain.”
Rally de España Itinerary
Friday 15 October
SS1 Vilaplana 1 (20.00km)
SS2 La Granadella (21.80km)
SS3 Riba-roja (14.21km)
SS4 Vilaplana 1 (20.00km)
SS5 La Granadella (21.80km)
SS6 Riba-roja (14.21km)
Saturday 16 October
SS7 Savallà (14.08km)
SS8 Querol – Les Pobles (19.17km)
SS9 El Montmell (24.40km)
SS10 Savallà (14.08km)
SS11 Querol – Les Pobles (19.17km)
SS12 El Montmell (24.40km)
SS13 Salou (2.24km)
Sunday 17 October
SS14 Santa Marina (9.10km)
SS15 Riudecanyes (16.35km)
SS16 Santa Marina (9.10km)
SS17 Riudecanyes (16.35km)
R-GT Coupe du Monde – Classification after four rounds
- P. Ragues, 80 points
- M. Guigou, 68 points
- P. Baffoun 49 points