"Just madness! That was probably the best race weekend of my life so far! The car just ran great. A big thank you to the team that gave everything under these adverse conditions. The fact that we won two races in the first year of the Clio Cup and won the rookie classification is simply unbelievable".
Kevin Hilgenhövel, after his victory in the rookie classification (best junior driver) of the Renault Clio Cup Central Europe 2018
Season finale in France
Driver Kevin Hilgenhövel won the rookie classification of the Renault Clio Cup Central Europe in his debut season. But until it was so far, a very eventful weekend passed on the legendary Circuit Paul Richard in France.
Already in the free practice sessions under wet conditions Hilgenhövel sent a clear signal to his competitors with places one and four that it would be very difficult to dispute his rookie title. His teammates Donar and Wodan Munding placed here in the midfield of the standings. But punctually to the Qualifying an infection put both the Munding brothers and a majority of the team out of action, so that in the pit lane only the Clio of Hilgenhövel and a handful of team members could hold up the flag for the team.
But the leader of the Rookiewertung could not be brought by it from the peace. He put his Clio on the fourth starting position, which meant the second place in the Clio Cup Central Europe, because at this special event some British Clio drivers were at the start, but they were outside the classification.
In an incredibly exciting first race from the start with many position changes, Hilgenhövel fought in the leading group and crossed the finish line in second place behind one of the British colleagues, which meant victory in the Clio Cup Central Europe classification. With that the victory in the rookie classification was also under control.
Team mate Donar Munding went from last place into the race due to the omitted qualification and drove up to position 15 in the points. Wodan Munding had not yet recovered and had to skip the first race.But in the late evening Hilgenhövel was punished with a later time penalty because of an early start, which threw him back to 14th place. Thus the Rookiewertung was again completely open. Hilgenhövel had to give everything again in the final race to finally get the title he longed for.
With a race victory to rookie champion
In the second race Hilgenhövel started from second place, but was hit hard in the first corners by one of the British drivers and dropped back a few positions. But Hilgenhövel didn't get up and gradually regained the lost positions. At the front two of the British guest starters fought for the race victory, but Hilgenhövel led before all drivers of the Clio Cup Central Europe and did not give up this lead. With his second victory of the season, he finally celebrated victory in the rookie classification.
Donar Munding started in the second run again from the end of the field and worked his way back into the midfield. Unfortunately, he had to park the car in the pits at halftime due to a technical defect. Unfortunately, Wodan Munding had to skip the second race as well and remained without points.
Despite the many ups and downs that a cup season brings, the team can be very satisfied. Two race victories - the only wins of a rookie in the Renault Clio Cup Central Europe so far - victory in the rookie classification and fifth place in the team classification are very good results for a debut season. We hope it will go on like this!