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Jimmy Clairet: ‘We need to be at least as fast as Julien Briché’

Jimmy Clairet is targeting staying ahead of Peugeot rival Julien Briché in the opening TCR Europe race at Monza, after the Team Clairet Sport driver emerged as the fastest 308 driver in qualifying for the second time.

Clairet put his Peugeot 308 TCR in a season-best third for the opening race in Italy, edging out fellow 308 driver Briché by just under a tenth of a second.

The Frenchman admitted that challenging front row men Mehdi Bennani and Dan Lloyd would be a challenge, instead preferring to focus on being the best of the Peugeot drivers.

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“It will be a big challenge,” Clairet told TouringCars.Net when asked if he could take the fight to the front-row starters. “I don’t know if I will have the pace to fight with them, but I think I need to be as fast as Briché, because we have the same car.

“If I can do anything during the start then I will, I don’t ask any questions. I just want to do the best result for the brand, for me and for the team.

“The car is lighter, yes, but we are good drivers and also the car is good.”

Clairet was particularly pleased to be ahead of 2019 championship runner-up Briché, feeling that his team has turned a corner since their campaign last year.

“This is a very good point for us,” added Clairet when asked about the importance of being the top Peugeot driver, “because the works paid off, finally. We worked a lot since last year.

“Last year, Julien was fast, approximately five or six tenths in each qualifying, so to beat him during qualifying is a very good point for us.

“We know Julien because we fought together in the 308 Cup in France, so we know him and he knows us, and I think it will be a good race.

“We know that we have an advantage here because of our engine; the Peugeot engine is very good, plus we have no ballast for this round, so we have a good chance to do well here in Monza.”

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