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FIA EHRC - Parroud Takes Home Win on Rallye du Chablais



  • Local aces Parroud and Gonon claim 1-2 for Switzerland on their home event, Rallye du Chablais
  • Championship stalwart ‘Lucky’ completes podium in a hard-fought battle that carried through to the final stage
  • Huge drama and tremendous camaraderie on display among the EHRC regulars

The 19th Rallye du Chablais, Round 4 of this year’s FIA European Historic Rally Championship, was memorable for many reasons, reaching its conclusion after a final day of drama and incident.

As darkness fell over the Swiss Alps on the final day it was the BMW E30 M3 of local aces Pascal Parroud and Quentin Marchand which prevailed, following a final stage shoot-out between the top three crews on the event.

The day began with overnight leaders ‘Lucky’ and Fabrizia Pons in the lead with their four-wheel-drive Lancia Delta Integrale 16v, which had profited from heavy rain on Friday’s closing stages. Blazing sunshine dried the overnight rain to give the rear-wheel-drive BMW E30 M3 of Parroud an advantage, but ‘Lucky’ remained within striking distance as he waited for the promised rainfall in the afternoon.

Also keeping up with the lead battle was the mighty Group 4 Audi Quattro of Italian star ‘Zippo’ and co-driver Denis Piceno, recovering well after losing time on the opening day. Sadly the crowd-pleasing Audi went out of the event in dramatic style, coming off the road on SS8 but with the crew thankfully unharmed.

Meanwhile the much older but incredibly rapid Ford Escort Mk1 RS1600 of Swiss pairing Florian Gonon and Michel Horgnies also began to challenge the more modern machinery through the course of the day.

Sure enough, when the rain showers camel, ‘Lucky’ got in front of the nimble Escort and BMW but then the stages began to dry as the event ran into the evening, and with a final push it was to be a home victory for the crowds to celebrate. Parroud just held the flying Gonon at bay, with ‘Lucky’ settling for third.

“It was a tough fight all the day,” said Parroud at the finish. “It was quite complicated also with the weather. We tried to push hard all the day and I didn’t do mistakes so that’s the good point,. Finally we take the victory on the last stage so it’s always good like that.”

Another high-profile casualty of the dramatic final day was the Porsche 911 SC of Spaniards Fernando Dameto and co-driver Sergi Sastre. When they came off the road on the second stage of the final morning, their car rolled for almost 100 metres on the Alpine hillside, although both crew members escaped unharmed.

Another happier ending came for British pairing Tim Metcalfe and John Connor, who retired on the opening day after spinning for 200 metres and hitting a tree with the rear of their Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800.

After a frantic night’s work to repair the car, the battle-scarred Escort then made it to the finish thanks to the spirit of rallying and some help from fellow competitors.

“If I’m honest, I wasn’t even going to get back in the car today but (fellow competitor) Richard Ronay got his three guys and there was Greg McCormack, James Potter – we had three Hungarians, and Englishman and an Irishman, I’m sure there’s a joke there – who were there helping us and working with us on the car until midnight just to get us out again,” Metcalfe explained.

“That left me with no alternative but to go back out, even though we were in service until 1am and then had to get up at 5am to be scrutineered. Everyone did a fantastic job and I’d like to say a big ‘thank-you’ to everyone. This result feels like it’s for them as much as us!”

In the classes, Category 4 ended with the BMW E30 M3 of Pascal Bachmann and Xavier Machet finishing third behind Parroud and ‘Lucky’. Category 3 brought victory to the Porsche 911 SC of Guy Trolliet and Sébastien Moulin prevail over the Renault 5 Turbo of Eric Guignard and Didier Meffre with the Porsche oif Eddy and Marion Tapparel finishing third.

Gonon’s incredible pace sealed Category 2, followed home by the Porsche of Jean-Marc and Patricia Bussolini with the BMW 2002 of Stanislav Budil and Petr Vejvoda third. The lone Category 1 car to finish was that of Ernie and Karen Graham, marking the fourth win from four events for the Northern Irishman and his Ford Escort Twin Cam, three-times co-driven by his wife.

The FIA European Historic Rally Championship will resume with the fifth round of the season, the 56th Mesek Rallye in Hungary, on June 22-24.


Rallye du Chablais Top 10 Results

Date: June 1-3, 2023. Location: Aigle, Switzerland. Number of Entrants: 34 (FIA EHRC). Number of Stages: 14 (12 run). Total distance: 608.33 km. Stage distance: 177.8 km (167.56 run).









Pascal Parroud/Quentin Marchand


BMW E30 M3


1hr 48m 35.8s


Florian Gonon/Michel Horgnies


Ford Escort Mk1 RS1600




‘Lucky’/Fabrizia Pons


Lancia Delta Integrale 16v




Pascal Bachmann/Xavier Machet


BMW E30 M3


+3m 1.9s


Guy Trolliet/Sébastien Moulin


Porsche 911 SC


+5m 19.6s


Benoît Boulanger/Christophe Doublet


BMW E30 M3


+8m 41.6s


Jean-Marc Bussolini/Patricia Bussolini


Porsche 911 Carrera RS




Eric Guignard/Didier Meffre


Renault 5 Turbo


+9m 27.4s


Stanislav Budil/Petr Vejvoda


BMW 2002 ti


+10m 10.9s


Danny Bender/Mathias Leyvraz


Opel Kadett GSi


+11m 16.6s