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A multiple world champion in Clio Trophy France Terre

With eight World Rally Championship titles won alongside Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia will be back in action at the next round of the Clio Trophy France Terre on the Rallye Terre de Lozère. Entered with Gilles De Turckheim, the Frenchman will return to the French Gravel Rally Championship for his first go in Clio Rally5 in what promises to be an unforgettable experience.

07 August 2023

Julien Ingrassia is the most successful French co-driver in rallying history, with 54 wins and 91 podiums from 168 starts in the discipline's premier category with Sébastien Ogier and four different manufacturers. With nine crowns to his name, including one in the Junior WRC in 2008, then eight in the WRC from 2013 to 2018 and again in 2020 and 2021, the native of Aix-en-Provence decided to shelve his notebook in the FIA World Rally Championship at the end of 2021.

The neo-retired competitor's all-consuming passion has made him a regular visitor to the service parks, with frequent appearances as a WRC consultant for Canal+ and an active role in the Rallye Jeunes operation. Determined to seek new horizons, the Frenchman also took up rally-raid last year, but he is now preparing to return to competition, this time in the left-hand seat.

For this adventure, he will share his Clio Rally5 with one of his peers, Gilles De Turckheim. They enjoy a special relationship, as Julien Ingrassia explains.

"It is a nice story as Gilles and I were boarders at the same school in Bonne-Terre," he confides. "Gilles got me my first co-driver seat in November 2002, more than 20 years ago. That got my foot in the door, I met Sébastien a few years later, and the rest, as they say, is history. Gilles and I promised to do a rally together when we turned 30. It was at the Rallye Terre des Cardabelles in 2010. We wanted to do it again when we turned 40, but that wasn't possible between the pandemic and my WRC commitments, but it was only a postponement, and we'll finally do it a few years later. As with our previous experience, we will swap the driving seat to share the fun! It will be quite a time!"

Last March, Julien Ingrassia was at the beginning of new rally season in France at the Rallye Le Touquet Pas-de-Calais. The project ignited, then accelerated during his trip to the Hauts-de-France.

"I hadn't planned to go to Le Touquet, where I hadn't been since 2007 when we won the Volant 206 title with Sébastien," he explains. "A friend rented a Clio Rally5 for the opening round of the Clio Trophy France Asphalte. It was Olivier David, my WRC recce mechanic, joined by Philippe Bugalski's former co-driver, Jean-Paul Chiaroni. He asked us to support Maxime Krasnobaev, a Rallye Jeunes finalist, who was making his rally debut. We were a bunch of veterans ready to pass on our experience gained over the years to a young crew!"

"I was so surprised by the number of entries in the Trophy's service park! I felt like it was the true spirit of the fantastic feeder series of yesteryear," he continues. "It's great to see everyone taking it seriously and working together, whether it's the manufacturers, the Federation or the organisers. Whether on tarmac or gravel, the Clio Trophy France is, without question, attractive. It's not simple to bring together so many crews around a car whose chassis, engine and overall package are widely praised. People seem happy, it's a fair battle, and it's great to see so many drivers battling at all levels. As I said spontaneously during a live broadcast on CFR TV in Le Touquet, I was also curious to have a go in a Clio Rally5, and a few meetings sped things up!"

At the Rallye Terre de Lozère, Julien Ingrassia and Gilles De Turckheim will share a Clio Rally5 prepared by David Automobiles. The 43-year-old Frenchman isn't setting any specific targets other than to enjoy the rally with his teammate.

"I'd like to sincerely thank Olivier David for his trust and friendship and the Alpine Racing teams for the opportunity to contest the event," he concludes. "I would also like to thank Michelin, Technoplus and Assurances Lestienne for their support. From a sporting point of view, the level of competition is top-drawer, and many competitors have already passed through the ranks of Rallye Jeunes. We tried to instil in them a sense of effort, hard work and attention to detail. It was tremendous to see them put all do that at Le Touquet, but it also means that we'll have to roll up our sleeves to perform. There's always someone to fight against when you have such a strong field!"

The 12th Rallye Terre de Lozère will be held around Mende from 25-27 August. The venue for round five of the French Gravel Rally Championship will also host the penultimate meeting of the Clio Trophy France Terre season, currently led by Jean-Sébastien Vigion.

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A multiple world champion in Clio Trophy France Terre

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Guillaume Renard

Press officer Renault Customer Racing

guillaume@zonerouge.fr

After a successful launch, Clio Rally5 is now taking on all surfaces with the Clio Trophy France Asphalte and the Clio Trophy France Terre. With two calendars intentionally independent and complementary to maximise the opportunities for all, each trophy consists of five rounds of the FFSA French Taramc or Gravel Rally Championship. Junior, Gentlemen, Female and Teams categories allow all the contenders to be valorised while enjoying unrivalled technical support and a unique level of equity at this level of the pyramid. A real springboard for the most promising hopefuls, the best Juniors on each surface at the end of the year will be offered an official programme.

Renault, a historic mobility brand and pioneer of electric vehicles in Europe, has always developed innovative vehicles. With the ‘Renaulution’ strategic plan, Renault has embarked on an ambitious, value-generating transformation moving towards a more competitive, balanced and electrified range. Its ambition is to embody modernity and innovation in technology, energy and mobility services in the automotive industry and beyond.

Document

A multiple world champion in Clio Trophy France Terre
A multiple world champion in Clio Trophy France Terre

After a successful launch, Clio Rally5 is now taking on all surfaces with the Clio Trophy France Asphalte and the Clio Trophy France Terre. With two calendars intentionally independent and complementary to maximise the opportunities for all, each trophy consists of five rounds of the FFSA French Taramc or Gravel Rally Championship. Junior, Gentlemen, Female and Teams categories allow all the contenders to be valorised while enjoying unrivalled technical support and a unique level of equity at this level of the pyramid. A real springboard for the most promising hopefuls, the best Juniors on each surface at the end of the year will be offered an official programme.

Renault, a historic mobility brand and pioneer of electric vehicles in Europe, has always developed innovative vehicles. With the ‘Renaulution’ strategic plan, Renault has embarked on an ambitious, value-generating transformation moving towards a more competitive, balanced and electrified range. Its ambition is to embody modernity and innovation in technology, energy and mobility services in the automotive industry and beyond.

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