Renault is returning to South African motorsport this year with a Mégane RS production car entry that will take to the track as a competitor at the Phakisa Freeway in Welkom on 4 August.
Twenty-year-old Devin Robertson, who is the defending Polo Cup National Champion, will be the man behind the wheel while his family's business, Gauteng-based Big Boss Auto, has signed on as Renault's official local motorsport partner.
The Mégane production car in question started life as a standard RS road car, but has undergone extensive re-engineering and remodelling, by Big Boss Auto, to bring it up to racing spec.
Renault SA's MD Xavier Gobille remarked: “The Big Boss Auto team is truly skilful in terms of racing. They understand what it is all about, that there are so many other considerations like aerodynamics, torque, suspension, driver skill and weight management and not just power alone.”
And Mr Gobille is not lacking in optimism: “This car is a winner and when success comes, sponsors will not be far behind. I am sure that by next year, Big Boss Auto will have some serious motor sport contenders knocking at their door.”
Robertson shares the Renault chief's sentiment:
“We're not going out there to be a number; we're going out to beat the competition.”
Gobille also hinted that this production car is just the beginning: “This union has produced its first baby and there's potential for many more to follow.”
A BIT OF TRIVIA
As some of our more mature readers will remember, Renault is not new to racing in South Africa. In fact our 1979 F1 champion Jody Scheckter began his racing career behind the wheel of a Renault 8 Gordini in East London.