It’s a record event that betters some far more powerful rear-wheel drive cars and one that other manufactures might find hard to beat.
The last lap record to be set by a front-wheel drive car was also a Megane Renaultsport, but that was back in 2008, behind the wheel of the highly regarded R26.R, which on the 23rd June set a record time of 8 minutes 17 seconds.
The Renaultsport 265 Trophy gains a modest 15hp (11.3 kW) increase in power, but with a careful setup, which includes the car’s Bridgestone RE 050A (235/35 R19) tyres, Cup chassis, tuned dampers, fade-resistant brakes, Recaro seats and an exceptionally wide torque band from 2500-5000rpm, the car was able to beat the previous record by nine seconds.
Laurent Hurgon, the development driver for Renualtsport, summed it up best when he said:
"The Nordschleife is a legendary course. Its length and layout, which is very different to that of a conventional circuit, make it a unique and technically demanding challenge. Its difficulties are extremely varied, ranging from fast and even very fast in places to much twistier and slower portions. Turns like ‘Karusell' and ‘Pflanzgarten', for example, make huge demands of the car and driver alike, yet Mégane Renaultsport Trophy is very much in its element here and feels particularly reassuring despite the uncompromising nature of the terrain. The limited slip differential allowed me to accelerate hard out of the countless turns without understeer.”
As reported last week, at this stage it is unlikely that Australia will see any of these cars due to the demand in Europe, but it hasn't been completely ruled out either.