Want to race on the Brabham Circuit at Sydney Motorsport Park?

It’s not very often you get to race on the full circuit of Sydney Motorsport Park but on the weekend of The Shannons Sydney Classic run by the CMC the Morgan Owners Club of Australia have a supersprint which opens up the Brabham Circuit! Yes that’s right on Saturday 12th August the full 4.5km circuit is available for your racing pleasure.

Head over the Morgan Owners Club of Australia website for more information but here is the  Invitation Letter Morgan supersprint  with the information on how to enter.

Bucket list checked off – Nürburgring

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.

IMG_6072I 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

IMG_6074There 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. IMG_6113Slightly 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 20160324_092831Liam 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?

Renault Car Club of Australia tackling Targa Tasmania


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 .

logoShowcasing some of Renault’s sporting history at this year’s Targa Tasmania will be:

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).ErnstAlpine

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.

Both Ted Merewether and Andrew Collier have been members of the RCCA since their late teens and are passionate about their Renaults and motorsport.collier R5

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 Ted R26the 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/

Email:                 enquiries@rcca.org.au

CHANGE of Venue for RCCA Feb Meeting


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

Venue –

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



In memory of Wayne Griffiths 1949 – 2015

Members of the RCCA were stunned at the recent passing of a  much loved member – Wayne Griffiths.   Wayne was a life
member and a member of the RCCA for over 45 years. There
was not much Wayne didn’t try in motorsport.  Bob Sprague reflects on the memory of him pushing an Escort around Amaroo in the 70s and later all sorts of Hondas. He rallied with Tim Francis in Civics and also competed in the Southern Cross International Rally several
Wayne was a mechanic who learned how to wring the last little
bit out of a Honda motor. He eventually settled on motorkhanas
as his corner of motorsport and achieved great success. He built
his own cars and was very quick on the right day. He was
Australian Champion in 2002 and 2006 as well as numerous
State outright and class wins. Wayne also participated in the official side of motorkhanas being the chair of the panel that controlled the sport in NSW.
Of recent times Wayne found an old Civic and returned to tintop ‘khanaing. He supported events, encouraged members to compete and enjoyed driving. At All French Car Day this year Wayne put up his hand to drive the Bob Sprague’s ute full of club stuff so he could be there in his new Megane.  A reflection of the selfless character that Wayne was.

Wayne was also quite an authroity on some odd ball cars that , being an oddball myself , were in my personal realm.  Much conversation and good advice about P76s and Austin 7s was of great value and I will  greatly miss his guidence and friendship

Thanks, Wayne .

One thing is for sure, he will be missed out on the tarmac by the ‘khana mob.

Renault Captur – High riding fun wagon

Renault Captur has finally arrived in Australia. On sale in its home market since May 2013, you might say the Captur is fashionably late to the local market – though it certainly won’t be the last to arrive, with at least two more competitors expected before the middle of the year.

Already it has racked up impressive sales in Europe – approaching 200,000 units – but its arrival has not been without some controversy. New European NCAP crash testing rules and the Captur’s absence of curtain airbags have cast some shadows over the car’s introduction, but to dismiss Captur from your shortlist on this account would be foolhardy. Make no mistake, the new Renault compact SUV brings with it unexpected practicality and impressive value.

In terms of its physical size, the front-drive only Captur sits at the bottom end of the Small SUV segment locally, competing with such rivals as the Ford EcoSport, Holden Trax and Peugeot 2008. Renault says its latest high-riding hero combines all the best bits of an SUV with the practicality of a people-mover and the footprint of a hatch, and considering it shares its underpinnings with the Light segment Clio, it’s that last point that is arguably most pertinent.

What Renault has done to maximise the available space of the Clio platform with the Captur is most impressive. Sure the mechanical package is largely unchanged with engine and transmission choices, and suspension, steering and braking components, all common to the Australian-spec hatch. But the rear seat room and cargo area is remarkably generous, and when viewed against its nearest competitors appear gigantic.

Sat behind a 180cm-tall adult, I found rear seat head, leg, knee and toe space to be more than adequate and the high-set bench also provides a good view out of the windows. The bench is, however, just that, and is quite formless and rather firm. Meantime, the Captur’s stiffer suspension set-up does little to foster a comfortable ride.

But this is one small downside in a long, l-o-n-g list of upsides.

Not only is the Captur spacious inside the cabin – easily accommodating four adults – it’s also very practical. The cargo bay offers a split-level floor which is not only double-sided (the removable panel is carpeted on one side and vinyl on the other), but can be set at a 45-degree angle to save your shopping from self-destruction on its trip home.

The rear bench can slide longitudinally through 160mm which, in conjunction with lowering the cargo floor, expands cargo space from 377 to 455 litres. On top of that, the rear seat splits 60:40 and the parcel shelf, of course, is removable. All up, Renault says the Captur delivers up to 1235 litres of cargo space, which places it in the enviable position of being up there with next-segment (larger) SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 and Nissan QASHQAI.

Equipment levels are equally generous with even the base model Captur Expression (from $22,990 plus ORCs) offering more standard kit than even some of its high-grade rivals. Headlining the list are cruise control, sat-nav, auto headlights and wipers. You can also expect 16-inch alloys, idle stop-start, a reversing camera and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and push-button start, LED daytime running lights, single-zone climate control and front and rear foglights as standard.

The base audio system includes Bluetooth telephony and audio streaming, AM/FM tuner and MP3/AUX/USB connectivity, all accessed via a full-colour 7.0-inch tablet-style touchscreen.

The up-spec Captur Dynamique adds a static cornering function to the foglights, washable and removable seat covers, two-tone paintwork, chrome trim garnishes, additional window tinting and 17-inch alloy wheels. It also features Renault’s premium R-Link audio system with Arkamys 3D sound at no extra cost.

A long list of personalisation options is also available.

abin storage is also admirable with seatback straps to hold tablets, maps and folders, door bins for loose items and bottles, a trio of cupholders in the centre console and a removable bin between the rear footwells. The slide-out drawer that replaces the glovebox on left-hand drive models is not available in Australia, with right-hand drive models scoring a regular ‘lidded’ glove compartment.

The pragmatic interior is also rather quiet compared to segment rivals, and though some additional road noise is transferred on 17-inch wheeled variants, is otherwise disturbed only by a slight amount of wind rustle off the wing mirrors.

This makes the experience at the wheel rather pleasant, as does the good driving position ergonomics and clear sight lines, excepting the upswept rear quarters (fortunately the standard rear-view camera eliminates any blind-spots when reversing).

Depending on variant, the Captur is offered with a choice of drivetrains, including a 0.9-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol in base model Expression and 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol optionally in Expression and standard on Dynamique.

The smaller TCe90 (90hp) engine provides 66kW and 135Nm and is available only with a five-speed manual transmission. It returns 4.9L/100km on the ADR Combined cycle and expels 113g/km of CO2. While the larger TCe120 makes 88kW and 190Nm and is available exclusively with a six-speed Getrag-sourced dual-clutch transmission, which adds $3000 to the base model’s price.

The latter engine and transmission combination is also offered exclusively in the high-grade Captur Dynamique, which tops the range at $27,990 (plus on-road costs).

Renault says the figures are enough to provide the TCe90 with a 0-100km/h time of 13.0sec en route to a v-max of 171km/h. The TCe120 will hit triple figures in 10.9sec and max-out at 192km/h.

The Captur tips the scale between 1134-1215kg, depending on grade, and can tow up to 900kg (braked), should you be so inclined.

Both grades of Captur are of front-wheel drive configuration with a strut (front) and torsion beam (rear) suspension arrangement. Both trim grades are halted by disc (front) /drum (rear) brakes, a combination common in this vehicle segment.

The set-up endows the Captur with tenacious levels of road-holding, though the ride may prove too stiff for some.

On the plus side, the lack of pitch and roll provides the Captur with exemplary cornering grip, and in combination with appropriately weighted and accurate steering, adds a lot of confidence to the drive. The braking performance is adequate, but not outstanding, though the pedal weight and feel, much like the steering, cooperates well with driver input.

We also found the manual model’s shift a little notchy and the throw a little long. The good clutch feel helps, but it’s not the sort of car where gear changes can be rushed.

This is a little bit of an issue when trying to maintain pace, with maximum power delivered (and best maximised) through a rather narrow rev band. Keeping the Captur here, and accessing this ‘band’ for overtaking, is an exercise in concentration if you’re trying to keep ahead of traffic, and also eats into fuel economy (we averaged 8.6L/100km on test).

If you’re content to plod along at the back of the pack, however, the three-cylinder engine’s thrum is a great companion with which to enjoy the passing scenery.

It’s obvious, then, that the four-cylinder variants are the pick of the bunch. The pace of the engine, and its delivery via the six-speed dual-clutch transmission, are more in keeping with the orientation of the car; and are likewise better suited to open-road driving.

The TCe120 engine feels at home both in and out of the city whereas the TCe90 is a better metropolitan companion. Sure, the ‘auto’ can be a little slow from the get-go, but once on the move is quite enthusiastic, managing winding roads and inclines capably.

The Captur’s 45-litre tank should cost just over $40 to fill, based on present petrol prices, and with the average fuel economy of both models on test close to 8.6L/100km, we reckon you should be able to comfortably travel more than 500km between fills.

As an agile and tenacious mover with enough space for young families to make the most of – not to mention that five-year warranty and roadside assist, decent capped-price servicing program and strong equipment list – the Captur seems to have been worth the wait.


All French Car Day July 12th 2015

The all French Car Day is just around the corner on Sunday the 12th of July. It’s a great day out for all Renault Car Club members and guests. If your not a member yet, you can join on the day.

So dust off your classic Renault or bring along your modem or new Renault and join RCCA along with the Peugeot & Citroen Car Clubs to celebrate all things French. Your welcome to display your car, a small entry fee is required to get on the grounds of Silverwater Park, once in come an park your car with all the other Renault’s.

Day starts around 8.30 to 3.30 pm when the best cars of the day are announced.
It’s a nice day out, and a great way to meet other Renault Fans.
On behalf of the RCCA,we hope to see you there.


Inaugurated on the Clio R.S. in 2005, the Trophy badge symbolises sharper handling and increased performance coupled with exclusivity and distinctive styling. In the slipstream of the Mégane R.S. Trophy’s 2014 launch, the Clio R.S. 220 EDC Trophy now features the same winning ingredients and joins this limited-edition series of high-performance models that reflect the passion of Renault Sport’s engineers… and fulfill their exacting demands.

  • Engine: Thanks to revised engine mapping, it now has 10 percent more power and up to an extra 40Nm of torque. It also benefits from a larger turbo, an air intake designed to minimise pressure losses and a revised exhaust system to accommodate the latest Euro6 catalytic converter (and minimise back pressure losses).
    – Maximum power has been increased to 220hp at peak revs, 6,250rpm. – Maximum torque rises to 260Nm (a gain of 20Nm), although a figure of 280Nm is possible thanks to a ‘torque boost’ feature in fourth and fifth gears. – By stepping up to meeting Euro6 emissions standards, the car’s CO2 output improves by six grams, to 138g/km.
  • Refined EDC transmission: gear changes are now up to 30 percent faster. – Down changes are now more rapid, thanks notably to reduced travel of the steering wheel paddles.- There is greater flexibility in ‘Sport’ mode to be able to combine driving enjoyment in built-up areas and on open roads. – A Stop&Start system works in ‘Normal’ mode but is deactivated in ‘Sport’ and‘Race’ modes.
    – Ultra-quick steering: a new, faster rack (with ratio reduced from 14.5:1 to 13.2:1) makes steering even more precise and incredibly direct – the best system on the market. -Tyres: the Clio R.S. 220 Trophy EDC is fitted with high-performance Michelin Pilot Super Sport 205/40R18 rubber.
  • A lower, stiffer Trophy chassis: the Clio is lower by 20mm at the front, 10mm at the rear (unladen). Firmer shock absorbers have been fitted and are coupled with hydraulic bump stops.

Weaponizing Albert Park on Thursday March 12

The hardcore Renault Megane RS275 Trophy-R is set to become the fastest commercially available production vehicle to lap Melbourne’s Albert Park Formula One circuit.

The lightweight, two-seat Renault Megane RS275 Trophy-R will be let loose onto the full Australian Grand Prix circuit to set the first-ever production car lap record of the 5.3-kilometre racetrack ahead of this month’s 2015 Formula One season opener.

Read more at here.

Peter Warren Display Saturday the 17th January

A reminder that we have been invited to Peter Warren’s at Liverpool for a Display on 17 January.  There will be a sausage sizzle and a Renault mug.

Please keep Dom company!

It’s a great opportunity good to look around the used car lot and the new cars.

Peter Warren Renault Sydney Dealership