Inside Renault Sport Trophy #4

The second half of the Renault Sport Trophy is starting at the Nürburgring and the different victory contenders all firmly believe in their chances of clinching the title. Among them are the drivers in the no. 6 R.S 01 entered by the Oregon team, Luciano Bacheta and Niccolò Nalio. They were on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps and they got their first win at Silverstone. They are now arriving at the famous German circuit with high hopes.

September will prove crucial for the drivers in the World Series by Renault as the Silverstone, Nürburging and Le Mans events follow one another in quick succession over a four-week period. In Germany we meet two drivers from the Oregon Team who are betting on the Renault Sport Trophy to relaunch their careers towards the top levels of motor sport.

Luciano Bacheta
In 2010 Luciano Bacheta was one of the front-runners in Eurocup Renault 2.0, and he shrugged off the restrictions of a tight budget to move up the ladder and even got a taste of Formula 1. The British driver is back in the World Series by Renault, and is hoping to capitalise on his talent to make his dreams of becoming a professional racing driver come to fruition.

Tell us about yourself
“I don’t come from a racing family! I began in the Ginetta Junior formula and in T-Cars before I took the plunge and moved to single-seaters. Thanks to my good results in Formula Audi, I managed to get some backing to move to Formula Renault 2.0. In 2010, I finished second in the Eurocup behind Kevin Korjus. I moved to the GP3 Series and then F2 where I won the title earning me a F1 test drive with Williams-Renault.”

Luciano Bacheta ready to roar out onto the track to pull back lost points.

Why have you opted for the Renault Sport Trophy?
“After my F1 test I knew that it would be difficult for me to go further because I didn’t have the budget. I did some races in Auto GP before 2014, which was a difficult year even though I managed to compete in the European Le Mans Series and the European GT4 Series. The launch of the Renault Sport Trophy gave me the opportunity to have a full programme. It was too good a chance to pass up.”

How would you describe the Renault Sport R.S. 01?
“The Renault Sport R.S 01 is very different to what I drove before. It’s quite a big car although it handles like a much smaller one. For example, an LM P2 is similar to a single-seater, but with the R.S. 01 I had to adapt my style to cope with the balance between the weight transfer and its phenomenal grip in the corners. It’s pretty impressive and so are the brakes! And even if the cockpit isn’t a problem for me as I’ve raced in T-Cars and tested in DTM, I find it weird to sweat as I usually don’t!”

Luciano’s father takes a close look at the Renault Sport R.S. 01

What are your aims in the Renault Sport Trophy?
“They’re the same as those of Niccolò, my rivals and myself as our aim is to win. The team’s got the experience and the right mindset for that, but we’re up against some pretty tough rivals as has always been the case in the World Series by Renault events. The most important thing for me was to learn as quickly as possible, and to do this I had to have track time to adapt. Although each stage of my career has been different, the Renault Sport R.S 01 was a big change, a bit like going from karts to single-seaters!”

Niccolò Nalio
The Italian is Bacheta’s team-mate. After being as well a title contender in one of the categories at 100% Renault meetings, the Italian has made his comeback after starring in the Eurocup Mégane Trophy before circumstances obliged him to call a halt on his career. The gentleman driver in the Oregon Team now has his eyes fixed on a single aim: the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The Bacheta-Nalio duo was quick out of the box and finished on the Spa podium

Tell us a bit about your career.
“I began racing at a fairly late age. I scored my first ‘big’ wins in the Italian Copa Alfa 147 before I started racing in the Italian Porsche Carrera Cup and then the Eurocup Mégane Trophy. After learning the ropes in 2010 I finished second and fourth before a break in my career.”

Why have you opted for the Renault Sport Trophy?
“In 2013, I took part in just two races and I had no programme in 2014. My management team and I did everything we could to come back to racing in 2015, in preference in the World Series by Renault of which I’ve always had great memories. The team and I got in contact very quickly and my first tests at the wheel of the Renault Sport R.S 01 immediately convinced me.”

This season Niccolò Nalio is back in the World Series by Renault

How would you describe the Renault Sport R.S. 01?
“It’s completely different to the Mégane Trophy! It’s quicker but still very easy to drive. You get a fantastic feeling from the way it behaves, and it’s great that we can set such times at the wheel of the car.”

What are your aims in the Renault Sport Trophy?
“Winning! My contract with the Oregon team is for a year only and I’m going to do my very best to move up the Prestige classification. I was among the leading trio on a regular basis during testing at Valencia, but things haven’t gone quite as well in the races. We did not start the season like we would have liked, but we are now back on top and we will battle just until the very end. Everything is still possible, and I’m going to give my best to win the Prestige category as my dream is to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours.”

The two drivers got their first win last week.