As Renault Sport returned ‘home’ to the Paul Ricard Circuit at Le Castellet for the latest edition of the ever-popular R.S. Days on the weekend of October 12 and 13, the marque’s latest superstar car, the R.S. Trophy-R and its record-breaking driver, Laurent Hurgon took star billing.
The driver, who smashed FWD lap records at both Germany’s Nürburgring and Belgium’s Spa Francorchamps earlier this year, happily signed autographs and had selfies taken with hundreds of fans over both days.
Some of them were even lucky enough to take a spin around the circuit’s famed Mistral straight and the Double-Droit du Beausset corner beside him in Renault’s hottest ever hatch. R.S. enthusiasts battled it out on simulators in the Renault Sport Centre for the chance to win a Hot Lap session alongside Hurgon.
The winners were not the only ones to sample track time though… some Renault owner/drivers took advantage of the Track Sessions that were held in an open pitlane format that gave them a huge 1hr and 20minutes testing themselves and their cars to the limit.
Others enjoyed the company of fellow enthusiasts in the Renault Sport Club Village, where owners could display their own R.S. car in a specially reserved area before taking part in an exclusive circuit parade.
The event took place alongside the end-of-season FFSA French Championships and there were exciting Clio Cup races on both days, while a number of R.S. cars including the R.S. Trophy-R, Clio R.S. Line, Twingo Le Coq Sportif and the F1™ show car were also on display at the circuit.
The latter proved particularly popular thanks to an F1™ workshop presented by none other than Renault’s F1™ Expert/Performance Optimising Manager, Nicolas Espesson. Other special guests included Emmanuel Guigou, the rally driver who won several titles in the French championships, and 1998 FIFA World Cup winning goalkeeper, Fabien Barthez. Both managed to bring a spot of sunshine with their appearances on Sunday as temperatures reached an unseasonable high of 22C, in contrast to Saturday’s greyer weather.
The changeable weather didn’t stop the crowds packing the circuit and its surrounds for the weekend – and their huge numbers made for a great atmosphere on both days. Happy visitors departed the legendary circuit chatting about the experts they had met and the goodies, such as autographs, posters and accessories, they managed to collect.