This week, Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie will mark the debut of the Alpine Elf Rally Trophy reserved for the Alpine A110 Rally.
Following their outstanding performances on the national and international stages, the Alpine A110 Rallys will compete in five rounds of the 2021 FFSA French Tarmac Rally Championship.
This new offer for customer racing is in line with Alpine's global commitment to motorsport both on track and on the rally stages.
More than a year after its victorious debut, the Alpine A110 Rally will now have an exclusive showcase at five rounds of the French Championship, all intimately linked to the brand's competition history. To begin this new chapter, the Alpine Elf Rally Trophy has brought together an extremely competitive field that is about to battle on the special stages around Rodez.
The action promises to be fierce, with five drivers from four different teams. Ten years after his last participation in the Rouergue, Julien Saunier will be one of the leading contenders for victory. Supported by his Sébastien Loeb Racing team, the former French Rally Cup standout is about to contest his first event with the Alpine A110 Rally, which he drove as the zero car on the Rallye National des Vins de Mâcon in 2019.
With an impressive pedigree that saw him drive the original Berlinette in the 1980s, Michel Bonfils will look to make a nod to history by competing at the sharp end of the Alpine Elf Rally Trophy. The CHL Sport Auto driver will be up against the Alpine A110 Rally entered by Jean-Luc Roché and Team FJ in the Gentlemen category. Progressively improving with his new car, the Berrichon will aim to build on the success of his first class podium at the Sanremo Rally.
However, they will have to contend with other competitors such as Nicolas Hernandez, who will continue his learning process with Team FJ after having shown solid pace in the first two rounds of the French Championship. A great GT specialist in recent years, the Team Chazel driver Loïc Panagiotis will use his wealth of rear-wheel-drive experience on the special stages to aim for victory in his first appearance with the Alpine A110 Rally.
Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie will get underway on Friday. The first leg will feature two identical loops of three stages separated by a service. On Saturday, the crews will battle on three new stages to be run twice. The 12 timed sectors will total 211.96 km. The top six will score points in the following order: 20-15-12-10-8-6.
Thanks to the Alpine Elf Rally Trophy's official partners, Elf, Michelin and Bahco, a generous bonus system totalling more than €55,000 over the year will also reward the top five finishers and the top Gentleman on each rally. Signatech Automobile will also provide technical support and a spare parts service to ensure fairness for all the participants.
Lastly, the competitors entered in the Alpine Elf Rally Trophy will also have the opportunity to succeed Manu Guigou in the FFSA two-wheel-drive French Championship as they will receive an entry in this category for the entire season.
2021 Alpine Elf Rally Trophy calendar
July 8-10: Rallye Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie
September 2-4: Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine
September 24-26: Rallye Cœur de France
October 6-9: Rallye Antibes Côte d'Azur
November 25-28: Rallye du Var