Since 2005, Nicolas Bezille has driven his two Clio II R.S. and two Mégane II R.S. the equivalent of ten times round the world! He has now covered some 386,000 kilometres in Renault Sport cars. We talked to Nicolas about his experiences in the first of a series of interviews with leading figures from our community!
Many times a great story has a little helping hand from fate at the start, and this was the case in Nicolas’ long love affair with Renault Sport.
"Towards the end of 2005, I saw a used car for sale near me that looked like a good deal," he recalled. "It was a Clio II R.S. 172. So, it all started a little bit by chance. My job at the time involved a lot of travelling and so I changed my car fairly regularly. That’s how I ended up selling it and then buying a second Clio II R.S., this time a 182 with a Sport chassis. I kept the second Clio until 2007 when I switched to a Mégane R.S. R26, and then got a second one in September 2009."
When it comes to comparing Clio and Mégane, however, Nicolas refused to be drawn: "There are two different philosophies," he explained. "My favourite is still my first Clio R.S., my first hot hatch! It was a joy to drive. A feisty little thing with its normally-aspirated engine. Nevertheless, my experiences in the Mégane II R.S. have been more varied. Its turbo engine has proven to be more versatile for everyday use. It’s the only car I drive these days. I know it inside out and I use it for absolutely everything! Back in the day, I used to drive it on racetracks to test myself – so to speak – against other sports models or to go with friends to one of the Renault Sport Enthusiast Days or Renault Sport Track Days. It was impressive how I could drive it on a racetrack without changing anything on it at all!"
Nicolas has nothing but praise for a car that he has driven throughout the whole of Europe: "It’s a car for life and for living!", he exclaimed. "It would be hard to pick out just one anecdote, but people always turn their heads when a Mégane II R.S. comes past. Perhaps it’s to do with its Monaco Blue bodywork – there are only twenty left in that colour! Nowadays, I regularly take the car on road trips. I’ve been to Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, the Czech Republic and Italy, amongst others, in it without the slightest problem. Being an owner has also enabled me to meet lots of enthusiasts through the forum that existed at the time. I’ve always liked the idea of sharing within the community."
After having covered 30,000 kilometres on each of his Clios, then 40,000 in his first Mégane, Nicolas is now the happy owner of a Mégane R.S. with an incredible number of kilometres on the clock: "When I first got it, there were only 9,000 kilometres on the clock," he explained. "I recently passed the 309,000 mark and I still have the original engine and gearbox. It’s all the more impressive when you bear in mind that I used to drive the car on racetracks back in the day! I like everything about Renault’s sports cars, they really do provide the best trade off between quality, performance and maintenance costs. It’s hard to find anything better on the market and although I’ve held onto my Mégane II, I know that the same also goes for the other generations."
With the recent release of New Mégane R.S., our averred petrolhead gives us his first, rather favourable, impressions: "I’ve not had the chance to test drive it myself," he admitted. "However, I’ve experienced it as a passenger and although I’d need to drive it myself to really make up my mind, it also seemed to offer a very good compromise. In any event, it’s certainly a beautiful car and I really love the design."
And as regards #RSspirit, in the end, it’s perhaps Nicolas who sums it up best: "I think it’s about passion, sports performance, community, sharing and above all, a great spirit!"