Megane Trophy takes to the track

Megane Trophy, set to line up on the grid in 2005 as part of the World Series by Renault, has already launched into its trackside development program at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit at Le Castellet. Behind the wheel, Stephane Ortelli, FIA N-GT 2002/2003 world champion, completed 28 laps that underlined the potential of the car.

On Sunday November 28, at the Castellet HTTT track, the new Renault Sport racing saloon launched into an intensive development program which is to continue throughout the winter.

Development driver, Stephane Ortelli, took advantage of the first few test runs to get the feel of the car and make adjustments for optimum driving comfort. "The slightly centred position in the cockpit and the excellent visibility make you feel really at ease, explained S.Ortelli. Megane Trophy's a sound car and easy to drive". The technicians sent Megane Trophy out on track in series of 4 or 5 laps to check out the overall operation and the dynamic balance of the car, and to adjust the aerodynamic balance.

Following a lot of hard work in the design studio on the CAD stations, Megane Trophy has made the shift to reality and passed its first "exam" with flying colours. "We haven't had any bad surprises, added Jerôme Mortal, development manager. It's good to see our simulations confirmed out there on track and this first shake-out has gone just as we hoped. From now on in, the job is to find the right recipe to get the car running optimally and we need to be patient. This first session has allowed us to give the car a good check-out and pinpoint the areas we need to work at in the weeks to come".

A number of test sessions have already been scheduled this winter. The program includes a host of checks, reliability and performance tests, with the all-important objective of validating the parts, so they can be released for production. "Developing this car is really exciting, commented S.Ortelli. I couldn't believe this was the car's first test run. No gear box problems, no major vibration, great mechanical grip right from the first laps - Renault Sport has come up with a quality car".

The next development session is programmed in mid-December.