Maiden TER – Tour European Rally victory for Hirschi in Rallye du Chablais
Michellod and Althaus complete the podium
Two days of tight fights over the challenging mountain stages of the Vaud and Valais regions, with variable weather adding to the difficulty, sum up Rallye du Chablais the sixth round of the 2023 TER – Tour European Rally.
Driving a Citroën C3 Rally2, series newcomers Jonathan Hirschi and Sarah Lattion took a commanding win after one and a half days of crossing blades with 2021 Swiss Champion Mike Coppens. Sharing a Škoda Fabia Rally2 with Christophe Roux, the 2021 TER Series Round winner in Chablais ended the opening day in the lead, but had to retire after a puncture-induced mechanical issue, mid-day through the second leg.
One’s pain being another’s gain, Coppens retirement brought the sister car of Jonathan Michellod and Stéphane Fellay into second position. Last year’s event winners took three stage wins and silver at the finish in Aigle. Getting to grips with Rally2 machinery Sacha Althaus, codriven by Lisiane Zbinden, improved his pace throughout the rally to secure the final podium step.
In fourth place, another Czech car allowed Thibault Maret to continue his learning curve alongside Christophe Cler. On his maiden event with the Volkswagen Polo, Maret’s Roger Tuning team mates David Erard and Sarah Junod took a steady approach finishing fifth ahead of another young driver gaining experience of top class cars: Yoan Loeffler and Hervè Faucher, on a Citroën C3 Rally2, completed their second 2023 TER – Tour European Rally event after #RA Rally Regione Piemonte. With another Fabia, Stefano Mella and Daiana Darderi finished seventh after a steady event.
2018 TER 2WD winners Alex Filip and Gabriel Lazar started their season in style with a category win.
Besides Coppens, the 2023 Rallye du Chablais came to an early end for the Volkswagen Polo of Joël Rappaz and François Forclaz, off road on stage 9.
Photo: Baptiste Aebi