Roché shines at the Alpine ELF Rally Trophy in Antibes
Antibes, France, May 22th 2023 - Rallye d’Antibes is held on roads that are clearly suited to the inherent qualities and exceptional balance of the Alpine A110 Rally.
Nicolas Ciamin’s outright win here in 2021 provides ample evidence of the car’s pace on these stages. So it was hardly surprising that no fewer than fourteen competitors lined up at the start of the second round of the Alpine Elf Rally Trophy in the south-east of France, three more than at the first round held at the Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières. The weather proved to be unstable for much of the weekend, the testing conditions adding a little more spice to the action and playing a decisive role, especially as regards tyre choice. With Fabrice Bect – winner of the opening round – missing the rally, Ludovic Godard was first off the mark, closely followed by Vincent Leduc. Godard confirmed his lead on the second stage, moving more than ten seconds clear of his closest challenger. However, Pierre Roché then struck a huge blow on the twenty-eight kilometres of the formidable Puget Théniers Ascros Toudon stage, catapulting himself to the top of the Alpine Elf Rally Trophy standings.
It was a lead that he would hold onto until the finish, amassing six further stage wins in the process to claim a deserved victory – a second consecutive win for Team FJ – and a fine eleventh position overall. Pierre and Martine Roché were joined on the podium by the evergreen Jean-François Mourgues and Michel Roissard, who gained a place from their outing at the Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières, whilst Vincent Leduc and Caroline Puel grabbed third. The Alpine Elf Rally Trophy returns to action around Rodez on 7-8 July at the Rallye du Rouergue, the third round of the championship. Finally, it is worth noting the superb performance of Raphaël Astier and Denis Giraudet who, whilst not competing in the Trophy, finished fifth overall in an Alpine A110 Rally against a big line-up of Rally2 cars.