Expressions of interest are sought for a drive up to Gosford to see 400 cars and motorcycles at the Gosford Classic Car Museum. The date in the HUB was for the long weekend in June . SO, knowing that you all have family commitments on the long weekend, BUT do not want to miss 400 cars on display and the social interactions with other RCCAers: NEW date: Saturday 18 June Meet: Old Berowra Tollgate, Pacific Highway, Berowra Time: 10.30 for a 11am departure Destination: 3-13 Stockyard Pl, West Gosford NSW 2250 Entry fee: $15 for car club members The museum is open till 5pm on Saturday's, so plenty of time have some food and a good look around Can you please let me know if you are coming so that I can advise the museum ? http://gosfordclassiccarmuseum.com.au/plan-your-visit/ See you all there (or at the next meeting) cheers Ernst
NSW STATE CHAMPIONSHIP MOTORKHANA
Details for the 4th round of the NSW Motorkhana State Championships: Supp Regs available here:
Renault Car Club of Australia Inc, State Motorkhana Round 4
State Championship Motorkhana
DATE: 22 May 2016
VENUE / LOCATION: Nirimba Education Precinct, Eastern Rd, Quakers Hill
TYPE OF SURFACE: Tarmac
TESTS: Minimum of 6 Tests as per Motorkhana Code.
CLERK OF COURSE: Bob Sprague Mobile: 0414 670 320
WE NEED VOLUNTEERS to assist with course duties such as timing etc. Please contact Bob Sprague if you can help out email@example.com
As the midlife crisis starts to go into full boost one starts preparing a “bucketlist”. As most of us know this is a list of things to do before you die. My own bucket list was ill-conceived, unprepared and really only contained one thing – a dash round the ring. Winning a trip to the CeBit technology seminar in Hannover last year provided the necessary catalyst.
I got in contact with RSR Nurburg who I’ve seen many times on YouTube. They seem to relish the Renault Megane and rate it highly as the best all-rounder available to tackle the green hell. The key contact Ray Shepardson, was exceptionally helpful and organised a RHD Megane RS 265 as the weapon of choice. Interestingly they only hire out the Megane in dangerous conditions due to its predictable handling, unless you are of course Sabine Schmitz.
Ray also suggested a few places to stay including the “Longhorn Saloon” owned by no other than the abovementioned Frau Schmitz.
Lap Day – worst possible scenario
There is a Murphy’s law that follows me around like a spectre perhaps because of my Irish ancestry. My outing coincided with “Mad Dog” Friday and a whole lot of rain making an already tricky circuit treacherous! You see in Germany, Friday is “car day” and every boy, man, girl and his or her respective dogs are out in their cars. Think of it as a high-tech Summer Nats without the mullets. Scary. To put it bluntly my undergarments were in danger of becoming a biohazard.
Getting to the circuit early gave me a fairly clear track free of spinning metal boxes. The excitable boys and the raced up Beemers were probably scared off by the conditions and the Megane’s impeccable sure-footedness made what I though was going to be an ordeal into a fun and highly rewarding experience. I drove the car way below its capabilities achieving 12 something minute laps. However I probably overtook more cars than overtook me so I think this weighed up as reasonable effort for a newbie. One thing for sure, “I’ll be back” (yes I know he’s Austrian).
Sabine and the Longhorn
I often go to trip advisor or booking.com and put a review on places I have stayed. They rate certain facilities in these establishments from Poor right up to Excellent. It’s no use doing that for the Longhorn saloon as the scale requires something higher than just plain ol’ Excellent. Arriving from Hannover with the family in a hired car, a female figure dressed in stable cloths, literally covered in muck, came to directly down to greet us. It was rather a surreal experience I must say. The voice was instantly recognisable as we the dark, determined eyes. “How was your trip” she asked. Slightly star-struck and taken aback I answered “not bad considering I drove all the way on the wrong side of the road”. Yes, I know, a great start – contact me for more lessons in the Denis Ryan School of how to win friends and influence people….l
I’ll resist the temptation to rave on but I will just say Sabine and the hotel’s staff member Melanie were fabulous hosts. The Saloon is an Oak log cabin fully imported from Canada with tons of cowboy and western paraphernalia. Both types of music stream from the internet radio. As busy as she is, Sabine took time to sit down with us and chew the fat. As we were the only ones there at the time so we had her and the establishment to ourselves until she left to do some more Top Gear filming in Kharakastan. There is a lot to do and Liam loved the animals and the horse rides. As for Sabine, she is an extraordinary person who is incredibly down to earth and has her fingers in many pies; a champion driver, horse rider, helicopter pilot and animal welfares, caring for many elderly or unwanted horses, dogs, cats , pigs, whatever. Wow.
So on that note it’s time I extend the bucket list. London to Sydney in a P76 – any volunteers?
The Renault Car Club Australia (RCCA) based in NSW will be represented with 6 crews at this year’s 25th edition of Targa Tasmania. The RCCA, and Renault, have a long history in Motorport. 110 years ago, Renault won the very first Grand Prix, the 1906 French GP, and continued winning in the World Rally Championship (Alpine, R5 Turbo), Le Mans and F1 as well as breaking several world speed records .
Ted Merewether and Jen Gillot, 2007 Renault Sport Mégane R26 (Car 837), Andrew and Belinda Collier, 1985 Renault 5 Turbo 2 (Car 621), the 3 Alpines of Ernst and Sonja Luthi (Car 412), Barry McAdie (Car 74) and honorary RCCA member Mark Duder (Car 164) and also Adam Spence competing for outright honours in his Renault-Nissan Alliance built 2011 Nissan GTR R35 (Car 822).
The RCCA, believed to be the oldest Renault Car Club worldwide, was founded in 1951 and has a long history in Motor Sport. In 1956, the Regie Renault Rally was inaugurated and by 1985 the club was running 4 State level motorsport events: 2 rallies, 1 hillclimb and 1 motorkhana. The club’s Jugiong Interstate Motorkhana Challenge is now in its 52nd year. Today the club continues to be involved in State Motorkhanas and has something like six current and previous Australian Motorkhana champions, not to mention many State and class champions in its ranks. The RCCA caters for all Renaults, old and new, and besides its sporting activities, has a very active social calendar catering for a wide range of members who are passionate about their Renaults.
Andrew followed in his father Bruce Collier’s (famous rally man of the 60 and 70s and contemporary of Bob Watson) foot steps and started dirt rallying in a R8 back in the early 80s. He then turned to Motorkhanas in a Renault Special winning the Australian Championship 3 times and the NSW Championship 13 times!
Andrew bought his pearlescent white 1985 R5 Turbo 2 back in 2006 Although based on the Renault 5, the car is radically different, being rear wheel drive and mid engined with a tubular chassis to support the engine and transmission. The car was built by Renault to compete in the World Rally Championship in the early 80s, with wins in Rally Monte Carlo and Tour de Corse driven by Jean Ragnotti. Only 3,500 R5 Turbo were built between 1980 and 1986.
Andrew’s car, although mildly modified, still sports the original 1397cc, 4 cylinder fuel injected turbo charged cross flow engine, which in road going trim produced around 160hp. Andrew has added a Tour De Course camshaft and larger intercooler to improve performance to around 200hp. With its wide back and fat tyres, it is an impressive sight from any angle.
Andrew and wife Belinda have competed in Targa events since 2011 and the R5 Turbo 2 has proved to be a fun car to drive on those twisty Tasmanian and High Country roads.
Ted, like Andrew started competing in dirt rallies in his R10 back in the 80s. He bought his ex-Renault press fleet 2007 Renault Sport Mégane R26 back in 2009. The Mégane RS is a series of hot hatch models based on the Renault Mégane, built since 2004. The latest version, the 275hp, sub 6 sec 0-100kmh RS275, currently holds the lap record at the Nürnburgring at a time of 7:54.36.
Ted has improved the car over the years, but kept it pretty standard. The 2 litre turbo engine was slightly tuned and output increased by 15% to around the output of a standard Mégane RS265. Upgraded front brakes, brake cooling ducts, camber and castor adjustment kits were also added.
Ted together with navigator Jen Gillott have competed in the last 3 Targa Tasmania and High Country events and enjoyed every minute of it. “Although we reached a 205kph top speed at the 2015 Targa High Country”, Ted says. “ it’s the corners that this car really loves – it was just made for these twisty and challenging Targa roads !”
The best part of Targa rallying for all of us from the Renault Car Club (apart from the speed-induced adrenalin) ? –It’s the company of like-minded car enthusiasts all enjoying their cars and these fantastic events.
Come and say hello to the team during Targa Tasmania.
RCCA website: http://rcca.org.au/
Our last Renault Car Club meeting (Monday 7th March) was really interesting for those with a passion for Renaults and Racing.
Seasoned racer Colin Osborne brought his Megane 265 race car along and told us all about his current exploits in the Australian Production Car Championship.
The Meganes (he runs 2 cars) have been purpose-built for circuit racing, whilst retaining much of the trim and equipment features as required by the rules of this championship.
The cars sport highly modified suspension, fuel system, exhaust, a full suite of safety equipment and a couple of engine tweaks to make them go faster! Plus of course a really flash paint job befitting a top level race car!
Colin Explained that both cars are exactly identical allowing the team to gather race data from one car and then apply directly to the other. Makes sense and of course we got a ‘guided tour’ of the Megane.
Renault has been working for some time at rebooting its long-dormant Alpine brand with the launch of a new sports car. But we’re glad to report that the wait is finally over. Almost.
What you see here is the Alpine Vision. It’s the latest in a string of concept cars that have sought to forecast what the new model will look like, following the A110-50 concept of 2012, the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo design revealed last year, and the more recent Alpine Celebration concept presented this past summer. As you can see, this latest concept looks close to production-ready to take on the likes of the Porsche Cayman and Alfa Romeo 4C.
Renault hasn’t revealed much in the way of technical specifications, except to say that it packs a turbocharged four-cylinder engine made by the folks at Renault Sport that ought to propel the coupe to 62 in under 4.5 seconds. Today’s announcement in Monte Carlo is clearly more about the design that draws its inspiration from the legendary Alpine A110 that debuted in 1969. The shape looks familiar from the previous Alpine Celebration concept, but without the flashy details, the Vision concept gives us a clearer idea of what to expect. Those round auxiliary headlights are pure retro rally and the proportions classic, but the detailing is strictly modern – particularly at the tail end.
The project faced setbacks after Caterham pulled out of the joint venture, but Renault promises we’ll see the finished product “later this year.” Production is set to take place at the historic Alpine factory in Dieppe, France, where the Renault Sport division was based until recently. Sales are scheduled to commence next year in Europe, to be “followed by other markets worldwide” – The word is that it will be available downunder – fingers crossed!
Renault has revealed its definitive 2016 livery two days ahead of the start of the new Formula 1 season.
In early February Renault launched its works team return with what it described at the time as “a show car” featuring a predominantly black livery with flashes of yellow.
The team, which took over Lotus towards the end of last year following protracted negotiations, ran with that look throughout the two pre-season tests at Barcelona’s Catalunya circuit.
But it has always been Renault’s intention to return to its more traditional roots in terms of its colour scheme.
The RS16 now sports a matt yellow body, with the front and rear wings in black and some small touches of gold towards the rear.
“Today is about what’s in the season to come, and the important thing is the colour, that it says a lot about your identity and who you stand for,” said Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul at the livery launch in Melbourne’s docklands area on Wednesday.
“Tonight is about our identity and what Renault stands for.
“I look around and it looks like people are trying to disappear from the Tarmac, so we’ve gone for something different.
“I think it works well. We’ve gone for yellow, which has been the colour of Renault since 1946, so we’ve been true to our history.”
The colour is similar to that used on the Renault RS01 sportscar for its launch.
It is believed the matt finish across the entire car means a weight-saving of almost half a kilogram compared to the use of gloss.
Our next general meeting to be held on the 1st of February will not be at our usual venue in Five Dock.
The car club has been graciously invited to hold our next general meeting at McCarrolls Renault Artarmon.
The sales manager, Sam Stratten has invited us to his dealership to hold our next general meeting and to peruse the new Clio 220 Trophy which is being released in Feb.
They have also kindly offered to supply some refreshments after the meeting while looking at the new Clio. I am sure we can bend Sam’s arm to tell us a little bit about what might be coming our way this year from Renault.
If you know someone that might not see this email can you please advise them of the venue change.
Parking is limited on site, but there is a side street on the opposite side of the road for off street parking if needed.
Could you please advise if you will be attending this meeting to help with catering. Click for Alistair’s email
McCarroll’s Renault Artarmon
Address: 395-397 Pacific Hwy,
Artarmon NSW 2064
Phone:(02) 8424 6888
Sales Manager / Host Sam Stratten
Normal start time for the meeting – 8pm
Thanks look forward to seeing you at the next Meeting
To the Members, Family and Friends of the RCCA
Best Wishes for 2016