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Renault Sport R.S. 01 in the test: 550 hp meet 1,100 kilos

Renault Sport
Renault's one-make cup monster in the track test
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S chon Renault's last Tropy-Racer didn't fit completely into the common understanding of a one-make cup - mainly because apart from a certain stylistic affinity to the Mégane at the time, it had little to do with a production car. Its successor, the R.S. 01 now clearly distances itself from civilization in terms of looks and technically goes a long way, a really big shovel.

Renault Sport R.S. 01 with carbon fiber monocoque

In principle, it is nothing more than a disguised monoposto: carbon fiber monocoque, push rods, unibal joints, the gearbox at the very rear and in front of it the engine, which is the only standard feature on the entire car . It comes from corporate spouse Nissan, more precisely from the GT-R, although the monsieurs of the R.S. Division are a little disagreed on which one exactly. One speaks of the Nismo version, which would mean 600 hp, but the data sheet shows it to be 550.

But I'll tell you something: It doesn't matter how much it actually generates in the end , because the 1,100 kilograms do not offer the 3.8 liter V6 biturbo any resistance.

In other words: If it had not already been there, the respect, you would get it pretty much by charging pressure refueling within one Gas blow instilled. To make matters worse, rain clouds made their circles over Jerez de la Frontera during the night and deepened the route. The curbs are slippery, the braking zones are spotty, and two corners are still pretty wet. And that's still good news. The bad: the Helmreich is the beginning. And: they'll put on slicks. Freshness. Ohlàlà!

And then also slicks - in the wet!

After all, an adjustable Bosch racing ABS between the carbon fiber brakes and the asphalt, traction control is also on board. Seven modes can be switched through using a rotary control on the steering wheel, position three is selected. And the look of the race engineer quickly makes it clear to you that you shouldn't mess around with it.

Sort everything quickly: gloves, helmet, HANS, Stefan; the limbs, the thoughts. Toggle switch for the ignition, start button: a short yelp, then the three-eighth rattles off, rattles, roars and roars. Loud inside, louder outside. The centrifugal clutch does the starting automatically, then the R.S. 01 on theStretch out and pull you forward with up to 630 Nm. But with all the vehemence in propulsion, with all the brutality with which the sequential seven-speed gearbox waddles the gears - the thing brings you closer.

The performance would be between a GT3 racing car and the DTM, yes in between, and Nevertheless, you don't need more than arms, legs and a little feeling in them to ride. The brake pedal needs to be stepped on properly, ideally with your left foot, you should accelerate with your head when exiting a curve, everything in between slips. Or better: it's developing in the right direction, lap by lap.

With the R.S. 01, a Nissan GT-R engine weighs only 1,100 kilograms

After two of them you have arrived, you have got used to the extremely low seating position, the correspondingly restricted view to the front and the short speed ranges that you literally rap through on the straights.

The body movements are reduced to an imperceptible minimum due to the uniballs, the braking points are even if you are personally convinced that you will be very late this time, still too early, and yet the really peculiar thing about the RS01 is the enormous lateral acceleration that it builds up, or rather: that it is able to build up.

During the routing, we collectively shook our heads When the Red Bull boys showed where it was going: the curve was full, so did they. And although - I want to be frank - I just missed the cojones for two corners, they didn't tell us any chocolates.

The grip is enormous, the mechanical and not to forget the aerodynamic, the aerodynamics generated. Specifically: At 270 km /h, the downforce is roughly the same as the weight of the vehicle, which means that the air presses the RS01 to the ground at around 1,100 kilos.

Sucks in the wide arches of the Circuito de Jerzez accordingly, as if in time-lapse, you simply tick off the narrow corners. Humorless, playful, highly precise. No twitching, no tugging, no sweat on the palms.

Driving a car in fast motion

All that applies, however only for the area up to the limit of the limit area. Above that you have to do magic and feel very carefully, simply because the car hardly sends any signals, no nodding, no rolling, no understeering, hardly any oversteering In plain language: if you notice that the grip could now slowly tear, it will tear straight off.

For the second stint in the afternoon, the sun has soaked up the moisture completely, and the driver and car are warm together too. Times fall, the remaining respect mixes with enthusiasm. About the car, and about what it can get out of you with its high-precision driving behavior. The tragic thing about the whole act: the future forthe R.S.01 looks confused. It was developed for a one-make cup as part of the Renault World Series.

However, this will be abolished without replacement after this season. In order not to sink into the insignificance of national French championships, the R.S. 01 Trophy 2016 docks onto the LM series, so it drives in the elite framework of the WEC. Nevertheless, Renault has with the R.S. 01 missed a chance: the chance of a serious GT3 racing car - especially since the offer of around 300,000 euros (excluding taxes) would be a comparatively cheap one. It's not all evening yet, but a subsequent homologation is extremely complicated, if only because it requires a roadworthy offshoot.

And that seems - as charming as the idea is - because of the expansion of the F1 -Engagements in the coming year are extremely unlikely.

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