Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup 2023: the promotional series confirms its attraction and numerous emerging talents.
The promotional series within the Stellantis Motorsport have traditionally brought up talents in French and international rallying. This year was no exception, with several rising drivers coming to the forefront through the Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cups organised in Europe. Once again, the qualities of the Rally4 machinery allowed them to express their clear potential.
The victories in the Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup in France.
In France, three champions were crowned in the Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup at the wheel of Peugeot 208 Rally4: Anthony Fotia and co-driver William Hanocq triumphed in the master (under 29) category; Lucas Darmezin (co-driven by Valentin Augé and Méryl Giraldo) in the hotly-fought Junior (under 25) category, while Jerome Chavanne and Pierre Blot won the Expert category.
In the U29 category, Fotia claimed a dominant five wins from six rounds in the overall standings. He missed only one overall victory, the Rallye des Vosges, which was won by Loïc Costes behind the wheel of a Peugeot 208 Rally4. With plenty of previous experience from different one-make series and a handful of outings in the European Rally Championship (ERC), a turn of speed marks Fotia out as one to watch. His measured yet rapid approach drives him to the next step in the French Rally Championship with the Citroën C3 Rally2.
The fight for the Junior Under 25 (U25) title was particularly closely-contested, with the title battle coming down to the very final round in the Rallye du Var in the south of France. Lucas Darmezin, Mathéo Codaccioni and Loïc Costes all fought hard for the title in a thrilling three-way duel, putting on a fantastic show as the championship travelled all over France, on both asphalt and gravel.
Finally, Jérôme Chavanne and Pierre Blot won the Expert category, reserved for experienced drivers. At the wheel of a Peugeot 208 Rally4, Jérôme Chavanne was often in the top ten, alongside young drivers, and achieved two podium finishes this seasonHe thus confirmed that the car was adaptable to drivers from various categories.
The Cup is showing to be attractive on the international scene with 20 cars entered per event and 36 different drivers taking part throughout the six rounds. and Competitors such as Yohan Surroca coming from Switzerland and Ioan Lloyd from Wales made the leap to join the competitive entry list.
Part of the appeal of the series is the generous prize fund, designed to help competitors progress their careers thanks to financial and motivating incentives. The competitors are not only rewarded for their performance but also for their dedication thanks to the Loyalty Prize. During the Rallye du Var, the prizes drawn included for the first place prize a Peugeot 308 GT Line to Loïc Costes: a fine consolation prize after he was forced to retire on the event. Matheo Codaccioni will have his entry costs waved for the 2024 season as second place prize while Florent Pueyo was awarded a 1000€ credit to spend in the Peugeot Sport Store.
The European laureates
In Hungary, the Peugeot 208 Cup saw the triumph of Márton Bertalan, who won 6 events, followed by László Berta and Attila Határ, second and third respectively. Further south, on the Iberian peninsula, Sergi Pérez Benítez stood out in the Peugeot Rally Cup Ibérica. This very young Spanish driver, aged 19, was followed by Portugal's Pedro Antunes and Alex Español from Andorra.
In the Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup Cup Belux, Austrian driver Julian Wagner, at the wheel of an Opel Corsa Rally4, beat young Belgian Tom Heindrichs and German Griebel Marijan, both at the wheel of a Peugeot 208 Rally4. Further out in the sun, in the Rally & You Canarias Cup, Giovanni Fariña García took victory at the wheel of his Peugeot 208 Rally4, as did his runner-up Fernando Cruz Ramos. Javier Cañada Tribaldo completed this season's podium, at the wheel of an Opel Corsa Rally4.
Anthony Fotia Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup France 2023’s Champion:
“It’s been an incredible season that has gone far beyond what I could have hoped or wished for. But at the same time, the real work starts now that graduate to the incredible C3 Rally2 car and have the chance to fight for the French Championship title. Realistically, given the level of experience and talent that I am up against, it’s going to be a huge challenge. However, I am going to do my very best and I hope to follow in the footsteps of all the other illustrious champions who have gone before me from the one-make series supported by Stellantis Motorsport.”
Lucas Darmezin, Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup France 2023 Junior Champion:
“We were confident and motivated to give it our all. I feel that we have made progress throughout the season: on gravel and especially on asphalt, where we saw from the Rallye du Var this year that we could set a very good pace. The experience from the Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup has definitely helped me to make that step-by-step progression that is so important when it comes to building a career in this sport. Next up is the Under 29 category in the PEUGEOT 208 Rally4 run by the Lycee St Vallier and we aim to win. I’m still only 21 so it's nice to dream: I’m lucky enough to be driving great cars and learning a lot.”
Next season, the competitors will once again tackle a demanding six-round calendar designed to identify the latest generation of future stars.
2024 Stellantis Motorsport Rally Cup France CALENDAR
Rallye Le Touquet / 14-16 MARCH
Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières / 18-20 APRIL
Rallye Aléria / 31 MAY - 01 JUNE
Rallye du Rouergue / 04-06 JULY
Rallye du Lozère / 31 AUGUST – 1 SEPTEMBER
Rallye du Var / 22-24 NOVEMBER