After a Honda Civic Type R clocked a faster Nordschleife lap time as claim to world’s quickest production front driver, Renault has taken its Megane RS – and the fight – to Melbourne’s Albert Park.
The result? A lap time of 2min23sec for the 5.3-kilometre track at the hands of Red Bull F1 driver Daniil Kyvat during an ‘Albert Park Challenge driven by Renault’ event in the lead up to Sunday’s snoozefest of a main event.
The hard-core Trophy-R variant of the Megane range clocked an average speed of 133km/h.
The achievement has prompted Renault to issue official claims of ‘first production car to set a lap record’ and ‘the first time a commercially available production vehicle under or up to 2.0 litres has set a timed lap of Albert Park…”
The claim will no doubt amuse F1 rivals Mercedes-Benz, who also runs its own production car activities during the Grand Prix festivities, no doubt both officially and unofficially timed.
Mercedes-Benz also partakes in the high-profile Ultimate Speed Challenge during AGP weekend, pitting an AMG road car against a V8 Supercar and F1 race cars, this year in a 2.0-litre A45 AMG piloted by Mick Doohan.
Contested in variety of high-powered AMGs throughout recent years, the Ultimate Speed Challenge is, however, held from a standing start – last year’s C63 AMG effort yielded a slower lap than the Megane RS Trophy-R’s 2min23sec ‘flying lap’ by a measure of around five seconds.
Then there's the fact Mark Webber was also on track in production car during GP weekend, doing demonstration laps behind the wheel of a Porsche 918 Spyder.
Claiming production car lap records around Albert Park is also slightly dubious in that the temporary race circuit is only feasibly accessible to car companies affiliated with the AGP event.
The Albert Park record holding Trophy-R was completely standard, one of just 50 examples allocated for local release of a limited 250-unit global production.
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