HugoValente is a former racing driver from France who retired very early, at the age of 25, after spending few years in top-class competitions, including World Touring Car Championship and TCR International Series.
He made WTCC debut in 2012 and competed with three teams until 2016, scoring six podiums. He ended a career after half a season in the 2017 TCR International Series.
Beginnings in karting
He was born in June 1992 in Choisy-le-Roi, the southeastern suburb of Paris, and as many professional racers Hugo made first steps in racing driving a karting. He has started to compete in 2006 when he won 4th place in ICA Junior South Garda Cup.
In 2007, Valente took 11th position in the French National Championship, but also competed at the international level, finishing 21st in CIK-FIA European Championship.
Not so promising start of the racing career
In the campaign of 2008, Valente debuted in Formula Euroseries driving for Auto Sport Academy and scored one win to finish 8th overall. In the following year, he returned to karting for the Cup of Monaco and took the 5th position, but his main duty was racing in the Formula Renault 2.0 with SG Formula team. Unfortunately, the results weren’t notable. The sam had happened in 2010, this time driving for Tech 1 Racing.
Valente made WTCC debut with Sunred Engineering's Seat Leon
World Touring Car Championship debut in 2012
Hugo Valente was unable to find full-time engagement for 2011, so he appeared only in selected karting races but the results still were discouraging. Luckily, in 2012 Valente got a chance to test himself in the French SEAT Leon Supercup and almost won the title. Before the final round at Circuit Paul Ricard, he was the championship leader but lost the battle against Jimmy Antunes.
The same year Hugo debuted in the World Touring Cars Championship, driving for Sunred Engineering in the penultimate round in China. He took 16th place in the opening race while in the main race he finished at 18th position.
Reaching first WTCC points with Campos Racing's SEAT
In 2013 Hugo Valente has continued to drive a SEAT in the WTCC after being hired for full-time by Campos Racing, alongside Fernando Monje. However, Valente had to wait for debut with the new team after his car wasn’t prepared for the opening three rounds. His first race with Campos Racing was in Hungary and wasn’t glorious at all. Until the end of the year, the Frenchman managed to earn 4 points after he has finished 8th in the main race in Argentina. At the end, he was 21st in the WTCC Drivers’ championship.
Hugo in a Campos Racing's Chevrolet Cruze
Switch to Chevrolet brought improvent
The following year brought huge improvement for Valente. He stayed with Campos Racing, but the team switched to Chevrolet RML Cruze what was a good move. The results were much better and Hugo scored points almost on a regular basis. After three rounds and six races, Valente twice found himself on the podium, finishing third in the main races in Morocco and Hungary. He won another 3rd place in the final race of the season in Macau. With 85 points on his account, Valente finished the season at 12th place.
The progress continued in 2015 when Valente moved up to 9th place in the WTCC and 4th in Yokohama Drivers Trophy for the Independent entrants. Hugo managed to collect 120 points without winning the race, but twice finished 3rd in Hungary and Qatar and once he was 2nd, in the main race in Japan. The same year he appeared as a guest in the TCR International Series, driving a Campos Racing’s Opel Astra in Thailand round, but without success.
The first of the season with the Russian team was relatively good but the results in the second half declined. Valente finished 12th in the standings with the 4th place in the races in Morocco and Russia as the best results.
In 2017, Valente spent part of the season inthe TCR International Series
Short spell in TCR and unexpected retirement
In 2017 Hugo switched to the TCR International Series to race with the Craft-Bamboo Racing team. Driving the #7 Seat Leon, he scored podium finishes in both races in the second round at Bahrain but unexpectedly announced retirement after the fourth round, just before the race in Austria.
He announced that he needs to be closer to his family, in particular, his young daughter which he gets with Anja Stojković, a daughter of famous Yugoslav/Serbian football player. Hugo and Anja got married in 2018.