Top team Toksport ready to thrive again in ERC with new Clio Rally5
Leading FIA European Rally Championship entrant Toksport WRT is back […]
Leading FIA European Rally Championship entrant Toksport WRT is back in the ERC – with a difference.
After guiding Chris Ingram and Ross Whittock to outright ERC title success in 2019, the Germany-based team has focused on its world championship aspirations since the summer, and with much success.
But as part of its long-standing commitment to young drivers, it has recruited rising talents Ola Jr Nore and Rachele Somaschini to drive Renault’s all-new Clio RSR Rally5 on the remaining three rounds of the ERC, starting from next week’s Rally Hungary (November 6-8).
Norwegian Nore and Italian Somaschini will both be eligible for the Pirelli-supported ERC3 Junior category. While Nore is preparing to make his European championship debut, Somaschini has impressed on two ERC3 Junior outings in a Peugeot 208 Rally4.
Exciting times ahead for Toksport this season and next
Toksport WRT’s Tolga Ozakinci said the Clio RSR Rally5 project has been in the planning for several months and is part of a wider alliance with the Renault Sport Racing customer division.
“We had been planning to run the Clio since the Azores Rallye in March but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the season and forced us to postpone our plans,” said Ozakinci. “We are hoping to run two Clio Rally 5s on the remaining three rounds of this season’s ERC but then switch to the Clio Rally4, which is being planned by Renault for next season. We have the support of Renault and these events will be a good test for our drivers. We are, of course, excited to be back in the ERC.”
Clio Rally5 ready for ERC action
After being put through its paces by ERC3 event winner Florian Bernardi as a course car on Rallye Monte-Carlo in January, the Renault Clio RSR Rally5 has been used on national-level events since early autumn with more than 30 crews contesting the Clio Trophy France. Available for €42,000 excluding tax, the Clio RSR Rally5 features an arc-welded steel monocoque and a four-cylinder 16-valve 1330cc TCe engine.
Benoît Nogier, Renault Sport Racing Customer Racing Director, said: “We are very pleased to see the Clio Rally5 debut in the ERC. Almost one year ago we started our co-operation with Toksport, which became in 2020 our official distributor in Turkey. From the start they have been convinced that the new Clio Rally5 represents the best opportunity for the young drivers to build a strong experience before fighting at higher levels. Rally Hungary is a first step for Toksport as we are preparing all together the arrival of the Clio Rally4 in 2021, we are working hard to launch our new weapon to chase ERC titles.”
Dream come true for Norwegian talent Nore
Nore, 20, steps up from national level having claimed a succession of class wins in his homeland alongside co-driver Veronica Engan this season. Rally Hungary will be his first sealed-surface event and his first outside Scandinavia.
“Ever since I was little this has been a dream for me,” said Nore. “I will use the first races to gain experience and for training. We have to build piece by piece and see where it ends. But this is an opportunity we have been working on for a long time. After several good years in the national championship, it was the right time to try ERC. We are grateful that Toksport and our sponsors made this possible for us. This will be a completely new challenge for us and gaining experience will be the main priority. We are very excited about this adventure.”
Somaschini to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis while chasing on-stage success
As well as developing her skills behind the wheel, Somaschini will continue to use the ERC to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis, a condition affecting the lungs and digestive system that she suffers from, through her #CorrerePerUnRespiro (Race for a Breath) campaign.
“I’m very happy about this new opportunity offered by Renault,” said Somaschini, 26. “For me it will be a brand-new experience with the Rally5 and I can’t wait to try it at Rally Hungary. For me this situation is far more risky than for other people, because of cystic fibrosis. But the event respects a strict COVID protocol and, even if being thoughtful in taking this decision, I feel right and professional to be there. I’m ready for this new project and I want to thank all my partners for this chance.”
Rachele Somaschini’s Race for a Breath (#CorrerePerUnRespiro)
Rachele Somaschini will use her first ERC adventure to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis, a condition affecting the lungs and digestive system that she suffers from, through her #CorrerePerUnRespiro (Race for a Breath) campaign
The Italian Fondazione Ricerca Fibrosi Cistica ONLUS FFC (Foundation for Research on Cystic Fibrosis Onlus) promotes, selects and finances advanced research projects to improve the duration and quality of life of patients and to definitively defeat cystic fibrosis. Recognised by MIUR as a promoter of scientific research on the disease, it makes use of a network of 900 researchers and the work of over 140 delegations and support groups.
#CorrerePerUnRespiro is an awareness campaign created by Rachele Somaschini that combines her passion for motorsport with what is most dear to her: raising awareness of cystic fibrosis and supporting its research.
Those who wish to make a donation can do so by bank transfer to:
Fondazione Ricerca Fibrosi Cistica ONLUS
IBAN IT 27E0 2008 1171 8000 1021 34939