In developing Renault Sport’s latest race car over these last few months, RS teams took the car to a number of circuits in Spain and Italy, with the R.S. 01 being put through its paces in Valencia, Barcelona, Jerez, Motorland Aragon, Navarra and Monza.
As Renault Sport’s Track Manager Julien Jehanne explains, however, the job of designing and developing the Renault Sport R.S. 01 began long before it hit the tarmac.
“To achieve the kind of performance we were looking for, we worked tremendously hard on the weight of the car,” he said. “Parts were designed with extreme reliability in mind and we chose a carbon shell to keep the chassis very light. As for the engine, we opted for an efficient, reliable base that we are familiar with. Thanks to the work we put in with our partner NISMO on the GT-R twin turbo engine, we’ve been able to achieve 500-550 bhp without changing the block for two whole seasons.”
With just a few weeks to go before the first cars are delivered, all the development objectives have been achieved and some even exceeded. In the meantime, Renault Sport is continuing to work on reducing costs, while brake performance is still being studied with the aim of ensuring that each set of discs can last a whole season.
The Renault Sport R.S. 01 posted a series of outstanding times in testing, recording laps of 1:28.8 in Valencia, 1:43.9 Barcelona, 1:53.7 in Motorland Aragon and 1:30.6 in Vallelunga, performances that place it between DTM and the best GT3s, the goal Renault Sport set for itself at the inception of the project.
“Renault Sport set a very high standard for itself in terms of safety,” continued Julien Jehanne. “Virtually every part of the car complies with LM P1 regulations : chassis, roll cage, front and rear crumple zones etc. It couldn’t be safer for the driver.”
Watch the Renault Sport R.S. 01 being set up in the Renault Sport motorsport workshop.