Renaultsport RS 01 Paul Ricard
  • Image Credit: Renault
Renaultsport RS 01 GT3 Paul Ricard
  • Image Credit: Renault
Renaultsport RS 01 Paul Ricard test
  • Image Credit: Renault
Renaultsport RS 01 testing
  • Image Credit: Renault
Renaultsport RS 01 cockpit
  • Image Credit: Renault
Renaultsport RS 01 engine
  • Image Credit: Renault
Renaultsport launched the RS 01 last year to replace the Mégane Trophy in the World Series by Renault. It's built around a carbon monocoque chassis specifically developed by Dallara, with the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Nissan GT-R, tuned by Nismo, turned around and placed amidships and mated to a Sadev seven-speed competition sequential gearbox. Though tipped to preview the upcoming Alpine sports car, it's an entirely unique creation. But Renault apparently couldn't keep the tantalizing package all to itself, so now it's developing it to compete under GT3 regulations.

Rather than having to increase the performance, however, the racing engineers at Renaultsport have found they've had to rein it in to match GT3 standards. They detuned the engine with added restrictors. They added over 50 pounds of weight, and over 100 more in ballast. They swapped the carbon-ceramic brakes out for steel rotors. They jacked up the ride height, and decreased the efficiency of the aerodynamics package to reduce downforce and increase drag.

In short, Renaultsport had to do just the opposite of what most automakers would in order to bring their vehicle up – or in this case, down – to racing spec. In order to gain approval from the Fédération Française du Sport Automobile (FFSA), the revised package underwent testing at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France. There it ran under both the typical yellow livery we've seen before, but also under a sinister black and blue scheme pictured here for the first time. Check it out in the gallery above.
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New challenges for the Renault Sport R.S. 01!

No rest for the Renault Sport R.S. 01! For the first time since it made its racing debut, the high-performance vehicle from Renault Sport Technologies will compete outside the World Series by Renault. Two cars are entered for this weekend's GT Tour season finale at Circuit Paul Ricard.

Originally built exclusively for racing in the Renault Sport Trophy, Renault Sport Technologies' most recent sports car received such a strong interest that the Ulis engineers quickly went to work to make certain adjustments to reach a new homologation. The first was granted by the FFSA, through a GT3 balance of performance.

Created to achieve high-end performance, the Renault Sport R.S. 01 had to review and level out itself to be allowed to race. The carbon brakes have been replaced with steel. In addition to the 25 extra kilograms associated with the change, 50 more of ballast was added. The ride height was raised and an engine restriction added.

Aerodynamically, changes were necessary both to add drag and remove downforce from the Renault Sport R.S. 01, which naturally enjoys exceptional characteristics in this area.

Less than a week after the inaugural Renault Sport Trophy season finale, two cars will take part in the FFSA championship for the first time. The Team Duqueine Renault Sport R.S. 01 will be entrusted to three GT Tour regulars: Eric Clément, Ange Barde and Bruce Lorgere-Roux. They will be joined in Open Challenge by a second R.S. 01 entered by the Belgian Boutsen-Ginion team for Eric Vaissière and Olivier Grotz.

Jean-Pascal Dauce, Renault Sport Technologies Motorsport Director: "Since the genesis of the Renault Sport R.S. 01, the interest in our creation has been keen among teams and promoters. The success of the Renault Sport Trophy in the World Series by Renault has confirmed this trend. As competitors, we are extremely enthusiastic about the idea of seeing the R.S. 01 take on the competition. No doubt it will turn heads among both drivers and spectators. We are extremely grateful in the confidence that Hugues de Chaunac has shown in us and this drives us to continue our discussions with other championships."

Hugues de Chaunac, ORECA Group President and GT Tour promoter: "We are pleased to welcome two Renault Sport R.S. 01s for the first appearance of this car outside the Renault Sport Trophy. It is a fast car with a magnificent look. This presence, through two quality teams, will without a doubt be positive and interesting. We have paid close attention the R.S. 01. I am convinced that the spectators will fully appreciate it."

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