French Championship: Bonato doubles the lead at the Antibes rally

Yoann Bonato won the Antibes – Côte d’Azur rally for the second time in a row, thanks to good tire choices during an event marked by capricious weather, with changing and variable levels of humidity. It’s another double for CHL-Sport Auto’s Citroën C3, with Hugo Margaillan second, 20”3 behind the winner. And even a podium identical to that of the Rhône – Charbonnières rally, since the third step is taken by a third C3 Rally2, that of Eric Camilli’s PH Sport, 49”5 behind Bonato.

Faster in action on Friday morning, with the first two best times, Margaillan then saw Bonato come back, finally ping ahead by 1”3 in the last special of the first stage. Camilli himself, despite a better time, was already at 25”0, closely followed by the two Alpine A 110 Rally RGTs of Raphaël Astier and Cédric Robert, each of whom set a scratch time.

For his part, Nicolas Ciamin (VW Polo GTi R5) had a complicated first stage. Victim of entry of a broken shock absorber, he could not then feel confident. On Friday evening, he was sailing in seventh position, behind the fourth C3, that of Léo Rossel, already more than a minute behind the leader.

Ciamin finishes with a bang

From Saturday morning, Yoann Bonato, a little better shod than his rivals, struck a blow with the three best times of the loop. He then increased his lead over Margaillan to 19”6. The other great man at the start of the 2nd stage was Raphaël Astier. Author of times with the best Rally2, he distanced his friend Cédric Robert, victim of a bad choice of tires, and came back for a time on Camilli.

Ciamin took advantage of the last two sectors to win his first stages. By striking a blow in the final ES (8”6 ahead of Margaillan), he suddenly climbed back to 4th position, ahead of Astier, less comfortable than in the morning, and Rossel, author of a small fault in SS11. William Wagner (VW Polo) and Cédric Robert finished in 7th and 8th places.

In the French Championship, Bonato takes off a bit, with 65 points, ahead of Margaillan (53 pts), Camilli (43) and Ciamin (40). Next meeting, June 17 and 18 near Gérardmer, for the Vosges – Grand Est rally.

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