Driven by Laurent Hurgon, the Renault Sport R.S. 01 was not specially set up to tackle the track, but following an opening lap that gave the engine, brakes and tyres a chance to warm up, the car went flat out on lap two, while respecting the speed limit in the four sections with a restriction of between 200 and 250kmh.
A Renault Sport test driver and the holder of the front-wheel drive Nordschleife lap record in a Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R, Laurent spoke to us about his unique experience at the wheel.
Did you feel at all apprehensive when you climbed into the Renault Sport R.S. 01 at the Nordschleife ?
I didn’t feel apprehensive really. It was more a case of being excited and having all these questions in my head. I know this track like the back of my hand and I tried the Renault Sport R.S. 01 out at the Vallelunga circuit. I’ve always said that the Nordschleife seems to change whenever you go out on it in a different car, and I wasn’t disappointed. I was like : ‘Oh wow !’
How did the first few kilometres go ?
The brakes and the tyres needed warming up and I had to gauge the balance of the Renault Sport R.S. 01 and see how the suspension reacted to the bumps, banking and ripple strips.
What was going through your mind at the end of the second lap ?
‘What ? Is it over already ?’ It was so much fun ! I’m very lucky to have experienced something like that.
What are the major differences between driving the Nordschleife in the Renault Sport R.S.01 and the Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R ?
Driving the Nordschleife is always a pleasure, and the Renault Sport R.S.01 is an out-and-out race car. There’s an obvious difference, especially with the braking, cornering speed and the Vmax on the fast sections. Even so, I couldn’t dive into the legendary Karussell because of the overhang and the height of the body.
The Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R is easier to push to the limit. It’s more responsive and less physically demanding.
Anything else you want to say ?
A big thanks to Renault Sport and congratulations to the development teams for all the work they’ve done. Just amazing !