Wed 24 May 2023

Soria praises “very efficient and very intuitive” Clio Rally3 following ERC debut

Paulo Soria was left in no doubt about the potential of Renault’s all-new Clio Rally3 following its international debut in the FIA European Rally Championship last weekend.

Argentine Soria was competing on ORLEN 79th Rally Poland as part of his prize for winning the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT in 2022, a one-make series for the Clio Rally5.

Although Soria’s challenge ended after seven stages aboard the MRF Tyres-equipped machine, he was full of praise for the first four-wheel-drive Clio rally car despite only limited opportunity to test prior to the Mikołajki-based event.

“It’s a very efficient car and very intuitive,” said the 28-year-old Soria, who was co-driven by Spaniard Axel Coronado. “Even if you have a lot of power you have a lot of control and this is amazing. It’s something you had in Clio Rally5 and Clio Raly4 also but you feel the evolution and you feel something in the back [of the car] is pushing you. It’s so nice and I really think it’s going to be a very performing car.”

Soria’s bid for a strong finish in the FIA ERC3 category was undone by a damaged rear-right tyre on stage three, which prompted a stop and change during the run.

“It happened just a few kilometres from the start and we had to stop to change it because the stage was so fast and it’s not a good idea to do all the kilometres like this because we wanted a good car for all the rally to give good feedback to Renault. That’s why we stopped to change. But after we could improve our pace and we were happy, it was a big opportunity for me.

“The car was working well but it was also the first time for me with this new brand of tyres [MRF] and the first time for Renault with this combination. But we were learning stage by stage.

“Unfortunately, in the finish line of SS7, we clipped the inside and we broke the front-left steering arm. But I’m happy to have lived in this moment and all that comes with it.”

The Clio Rally3 was the third different Clio rally challenger Soria had driven on Rally Poland following his debut appearance on the event in 2021 driving a Clio Rally5 ahead of a step up to the Clio Rally4 last year.

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