Another record has fallen to the unstoppable power of the New Mégane R.S. Trophy-R after it blasted around the Suzuka Circuit in Japan in a time of 2’25’’454 (more than 3s better than the previous record) on November 26.
The circuit, famed for its "figure eight" configuration, has hosted the Japanese Grand Prix since 1987 and is now one of the oldest venues in Formula 1™. Its twists, turns and 1.2km back straight are also familiar worldwide from its starring role in many video racing games.
The car is a major success in Japan, which has some 10,000 Renault Sport and Trophy-R fans. Japan is currently Renault Sport’s leading world market for the R.S. range, ahead of Germany and France, and the third for Mégane R.S., even though the Trophy version has not yet been launched there. In response, development tests were carried out at the beginning of the year on the Suzuka circuit to best meet the specific expectations of local customers.
The New Mégane R.S. Trophy-R has had a fantastic year since its launch. In May, it took the fastest front-wheel drive crown at Germany’s famed Nürburgring Nordschleife track. Driven by Renault Sport’s Laurent Hurgon, it covered the 20.600 km in 07:40.100, and the official whole lap length of the 20.832 km Nordschleife in 07:45.389.
It was Hurgon’s third record for Renault at Nürburgring, shaving seconds off previous outings in 2011 and 2014. The long-serving test driver has become intimately involved in building as well as driving the Trophy-R, illustrating the teamwork and dedication needed when gaining even a fraction of a second becomes harder and harder every year.
The Trophy-R’s second crown of the year came in July at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit when it set another front-wheel drive record, just ahead of the prestigious 24 Hours of Spa race. Hurgon was again at the wheel for a time of 2:48.338.
In early November, the Trophy-R switched continents for its third FWD lap record of the year, tearing around South Australia’s Bend Motorsport Park’s 7.7-km circuit in just 2:14.316, this time with Renault-backed Garry Rogers Motorsport TCR Australia driver James Moffat at the helm.
At Suzuka, its time was a new absolute official record and a reference time for a production city-car on the 5.8-km-long circuit, which has 18 curves.
This performance is particularly meaningful for the 10,000 strong local community of Renault Sport and TROPHY-R fans. It demonstrates the effectiveness of the specific testing campaign we conducted on site to best meet their expectations. This is enough to further strengthen the relationship with our very international clientele
First unveiled to the public during the Formula One™ Grand Prix in Monaco in May, driven by Renault F1® Team drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg, the Megane R.S. Trophy-R goes on sale in December in a limited edition of only 500 cars.
However, all of the new Megane R.S. Trophy-R have already been snapped up in pre-orders, with 50 models, including five equipped with the Ceramic Carbon Pack, reserved by Renault Japan and ready for delivery to their happy customers in the first half of 2020.
A small, dedicated team worked to a tight schedule to bring the new Megane R.S. Trophy-R to life, with the help of specialist suppliers such as Akrapovič, Brembo, Bridgestone, Öhlins and Sabelt.
The record breaking car has the same 300hp engine as the Mégane R.S. Trophy, but boosts its speed with a 130kg weight reduction, improved aerodynamics and a radical suspension set-up.
Little wonder then that the Mégane R.S. Trophy-R has captured the imagination of motorsports fans the world over.