Unbeaten in the FIA R-GT Cup in 2021, Alpine repeats the feat in 2022.
With a one-two finish led by Manu Guigou on RallyRACC - Rally de España, the A110 Rally secures the top two places in the season-ending general classification.
The model designed by Signatech concludes a perfect season in which Raphaël Astier won the title, and Alpine continued its domination that began 11 rallies and 151 stages ago.
With the title already secured with Raphaël Astier's victory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín, Alpine was looking to end its second international campaign in the best possible way on RallyRACC - Rally de España. The A-arrowed brand was back in Catalonia, a region where it has always excelled since the success of Bernard Tramont in the 1960s and Pierre Ragues' 2021 crown.
On tricky roads after the rain showers and the more than 40 competitors entered in the FIA World Rally Championship tackling the stages ahead of its crews, Alpine immediately took control of the FIA R-GT Cup. Philippe Baffoun was the first to strike, but Manu Guigou retaliated by winning the following timed sectors. The Alpine Ambassador continued his winning ways and completed a clean sweep on increasingly muddy roads in the afternoon to build a lead of nearly three minutes.
On Saturday, Manu Guigou and Philippe Baffoun again dominated their class and the two-wheel-drive category. Despite a day punctuated by two interruptions and a 30-second penalty for a late check-in, Manu Guigou reaffirmed his dominance to increase his advantage to 4:27.0s while their rivals in other brands were already more than half an hour behind.
The season's final leg saw Manu Guigou continue to mix with the four-wheel-drive cars entered in WRC2 and WRC3 in the last four timed sectors. Once again, the Code Racing Development driver took all the fastest times to seal his second win of 2022, 5:41.1s ahead of Philippe Baffoun.
Despite skipping the season finale, Raphaël Astier officially succeeds Pierre Ragues, who also won with Alpine 12 months ago. Like last year, Manu Guigou finishes runner-up at the end of a year dominated by the Alpine A110 Rally designed by Signatech. Unbeaten on 76 stages in 2021, it did the same on the 75 timed sectors in 2022, scoring one-two finishes in the Canaries and Catalonia, a sweep of the podium on Barum Czech Rally Zlín and a lockout of the top four in Monte-Carlo.
Alpine now looks ahead to 2023, when it will seek a third consecutive title in the discipline to equal the record currently held by Porsche and Abarth!
"Finishing the season on the top step of the podium is good, and I am thrilled to have contributed to the Alpine A110 Rally's great run with my two wins and two-second places in five starts this year. It was a complete and challenging rally, as is the custom in the World Rally Championship. Between the recce, the shakedown and the three days of action, such a week requires endurance, especially when rain and night are involved. The liaisons and loops are also longer than on the European scene, and there is a real step between the ERC and WRC events! This rally was even more daunting than usual, with the unusual weather bringing unexpected showers. The stages require surgical precision on the trajectories, and we had to take the cuts on really large strips of gravel this year. We would have liked to have been closer to the top four-wheel-drive cars, but it was difficult to do better, with no gravel crew and in these less grippy and dirtier conditions than 12 months ago with more competitors in Rally2. Fortunately, we were able to rely on the performance and strength of the Michelin tyres, whose robustness allowed us to avoid punctures and have a lot of fun driving the Alpine on these superb roads. I would also like to thank Jules, my new co-driver, for this first victory together in a prolific weekend for the French crews, with successes in Rally1, Rally4 and R-GT, as well as a podium finish in Rally2!”
RallyRACC Catalunya - Costa Daurada 2022
1. Manu Guigou – Jules Escartefigue (Alpine A110 Rally) 3h05:26.0s
2. Philippe Baffoun – Charlyne Quartini (Alpine A110 Rally) +5:41.1s
3. Roberto Gobbin – Fabio Grimaldi (Abarth 124 Rally) +54:33.6s
2022 FIA R-GT Cup
1. Raphaël Astier 93 points
2. Manu Guigou 86 points
3. Roberto Gobbin 51 points
4. Martin Rada 22 points
5. Philippe Baffoun 18 points
6. François Delecour & Jakub Jirovec 15 points
8. Christophe Casanova 12 points
9. Ian Crerar 6 points…