No holiday Ascension weekend for the protagonists of the French Rally Championship. They will all be on deck on Friday and Saturday for the 58th Antibes – Côte d’Azur rally, the third round of the season. Given the quality of the entries, we are expecting an event that is just as hotly contested and undecided as the first two.
Championship leader Yoann Bonato (Citroën C3 Rally2) recent winner at Charbonnières and in the ERC in the Canary Islands, will have a lot to do on roads that he had finally mastered last year. Facing him, Nicolas Ciamin (Volkswagen Polo GTi R5), first winner 2023 in Le Touquet, returns to the land of his 2021 success achieved in Alpine. The Niçois will be almost at home, just like Eric Camilli (C3 Rally2), who came very close to victory at Rhône-Charbonnières.
Beware of young people and Alpines
It will also be necessary to reckon with two other increasingly successful Citroënists, the young wolves Hugo Margaillan and Léo Rossel, who are getting closer and closer to success. Especially the first, second in the Championship seven points behind Bonato and tied with Thomas Chauffray, absent here. Let’s not forget either William Wagner (VW Polo), 3rd at Le Touquet but made a mistake at “Charbo”.
On the two-wheel drive side, the Alpine A110s of Cédric Robert and Raphaël Astier should prove particularly comfortable in the hinterland of Nice, even if the fastest roads are not used this year. The Alpine Rally and Renault Clio trophies are also on the program for this third round of the Championship.
118 crews will set off on a 212.2 km timed course at the end of which, a stone’s throw from the Cannes Croisette, they will aim for the Palme and the various prizes at stake.