Motorsports Mondial

Photo: renaultsports

Megane Trophy cranks up the power for 2012

Created in 2005 and overhauled four years later, the Megane Trophy is reinventing itself for 2012, by packing an extra 40bhp beneath the bonnet. Developed by Renault Sport Technologies, the new improved 400-bhp saloon car will be taking centre stage again in the Eurocup Megane Trophy, as part of the World Series by Renault, and will also be branching out into the newly created Megane Trophy Endurance Challenge, courtesy of a highly adaptable endurance kit.

An integral part of the World Series by Renault story, the Eurocup Megane Trophy has proved popular with fans since its introduction in 2005, with tightly packed fields and exciting racing the hallmarks of this high-performance saloon-car class. And there promises to be even more action in 2012, thanks to the fitting of a newly developed V6 3.5 24v rear-mid engine producing 400bhp (40bhp more than before), giving the Megane Trophy even more performance.

One thing that’s staying unchanged next season is the Eurocup Megane Trophy format. Race weekends will start on the Friday with two hour-long sessions of collective testing, while both race days will feature one qualifying session and a race apiece, which all adds up to three hours and 50 minutes of Eurocup Megane Trophy action at every meeting.

There are seven Eurocup Megane Trophy meetings on the World Series by Renault card for 2012. Running from May through to October, the season will reach a high point in mid-July, when the class decamps to the all-new Moscow Raceway for its Russian debut.

Prize money for the Eurocup Megane Trophy season stands at more than €182,000, nearly all of which is pocketed by the top three drivers in the overall standings, with the champion collecting €100,000, the runner-up €50,000 and the third-placed driver €25,000. Like Nick Catsburg and Stefano Comini, the last two champion drivers, the winner of the 2012 Eurocup Megane Trophy will be rewarded with a day’s testing with Nissan Motorsport International (Nismo). Catsburg performed so well in his March 2011 testing session that he earned a drive with the Japanese constructor in this season’s FIA GT1 World Championship. There are also rewards to be had for amateur competitors in the Gentlemen Drivers championship, a genuine ‘contest within a contest’.

Harnessing the versatility of the Megane Trophy, Renault Sport Technologies has also set up the Megane Trophy Endurance Challenge, which gives drivers and teams the chance to test themselves in a different setting to World Series by Renault thanks to an endurance kit featuring a 100-litre tank and central-locking nut wheels. The challenge comprises three prestigious endurance events: the Gulf 12 Hours, held in Abu Dhabi; the Nürburgring Nordschleife Endurance Meeting (to be confirmed); and the 6 Hours of Vallelunga. Megane Trophy drivers and teams will be competing in a category all of their own, with special prize money on offer. Three drivers are allowed per car and teams will have access to technical support from Renault Sport Technologies and its partners at all three events.

2012 Eurocup Megane Trophy calendar

– 5-6 May: Motorland Aragon, Spain
– 2-3 June: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
– 30 June-1 July: the Nürburgring, Germany
– 14-15 July: Moscow Raceway, Russia*
– 15-16 September: Hungaroring, Hungary
– 29-30 September: Paul Ricard HTTT, France
– 20-21 October: Barcelona, Spain
*Pending approval by the FIA