Renault RS 01 GT3 - the only French car in the international GT competitions
Renault RS 01 (also known as Renault Sport RS 01) is the race car developed for the Renault Sport Trophy one-make series, inaugurated in 2015. After two seasons, the competition was halted, but the car continues to live as the Renault RS 01 GT3 in various competitions in Europe. Currently, the RS 01 GT3 is the only French GT car in the international GT competitions.
Nismo’s monster engine in Dallara chassis
The RS 01 was developed by Renault Sport, using a technology from the widely known international companies. The car is using an engine of Japanese partner Nissan/Nismo, the 3799cc V6 longitudinally mounted behind the driver’s back. The engine was tuned by Gibson Technology. With two turbo chargers it delivers 550hp (at 6800 rpm) and 630 of torque (at 5000 rpm).
All that power is delivered to rear wheels over 7-speed semi-automatic gearbox and limited slip differential. R.S. 01 is using 18-inches Michelin tyres, underneath are PFC brakes with 380 mm carbon discs and 6-piston calipers.
The 4710mm long car is made with Dallara carbon monocoque chassis and steel roll cage according to FIA LMP1 safety standards. Aerodynamic package with front blade and splitter, stepped flat bottom, rear diffuser and rear wing at the same time is functional and has a good sporty aggressive appearance.
Six teams in the inaugural Renault Sport Trophy season
The inaugural season of the Renault Sport Trophy was a part of the World Series by Renault. It consisted of six triple-header events, with one endurance race (70 min) and two races for separate classes (Elite/Pro and Prestige/Am). Six private teams took part in the 2015 RST season: Equipe Verschuur, ART Junior Team, V8 Racing, Oregon Team, Zele Racing and Monlau Competicion.
With mostly 12 or 13 cars on the grid, the inaugural season ended with Andrea Pizzitola (Elita class) and Dario Capitanio (Prestige class) as individual champions. Capitanio and David Fumanelli took the Endurance Trophy, their Oregon Team was the best in the teams’ classification.
GT3 version debuted in the French GT Championship
For most of the season, the RS 01 was exclusively the one-make series car, but in October it also debuted in the GT competition. It was the round of the French GT Championship at Circuit Paul Ricard, where Boutsen Ginion Racing and Duqueine Engineering were using the car in the Open class.
In November, the car also debuted in Barcelona’s round of the International GT Open, where Monlau Competicion was running RS 01 GT3.
The car had to be slowed down for GT3 homologation
To be homologated as the GT3 car, the RS 01 had to undergo some changes. The car was too fast and too sophisticated for GT3 class, so the carbon brakes have been replaced with steel.
It added 25 extra kilograms and 50 more kilos ballast was added. The ride height was raised and an engine restriction added. Aerodynamically, changes were necessary both to add drag and remove downforce.
More and more teams were using the RS 01
In 2016, the second season of the Renault Sport trophy followed, again with six triple-header events. The number of teams increased to eight. The teams’ champion was Team Marc VDS EG 0,0. Drivers’ champions were Fabian Schiller (Am) and Pieter Schothorst (Pro).
During 2016, the number of teams increased which were using the RS 01 GT3 in different GT competitions, especially in the endurance races. AB Sport Auto was running a car for the full season in the V de V Challenge Endurance but also at 24h Paul Ricard, the fifth round of the 24H Series. In January, Boutsen Ginion Racing entered the 24 hours of Dubai, the opening round of the 24H Series.
Maiden GT win for RS 01 GT3 at Mugello
The first victory came in March 2016, at 12 hours of Mugello, the round of the 24H Series. The GT3 version of Renault RS 01 scored the overall win in the race, driven by V8 Racing Team’s Luc Braams, Max Braams, Nicky Pastorelli and Miguel Ramos.
Two more teams participated in that race with Renault, taking fifth (Equipe Verschuur) and 36th place (Boutsen Ginion Racing). Later in the season, Duqueine Engineering took part at 24 hours of Barcelona with Renault RS 01 GT3, finishing in the 11th place.
Few wins in the International GT Open
V8 Racing Team was running two cars in the International GT Open, scoring several wins through the season. In May, at Spa-Francorchamps, the team achieved double triumph, winning both in Pro-Am and Am classes. Nicky Pastorelli and Josh Webster were the overall winners in the second race at Spa. The other crew, Filipe Barreiros and Max Braams, scored three class wins during the season.
No more RST in 2017, new challenges are ahead
In 2017, the Renault Sport Trophy exists no more, so plenty of cars are free for use in other competitions. The season was opened at 24 hours of Dubai, where GP Extreme finished ninth overall and second in A6-Am class with Renault RS 01 GT3.
Renault RS 01 GT3 technical specifications
Length: 4710 mm
Width: 2000 mm
Height: 1116 mm
Wheelbase: 2744 mm
Front/rear track: 1675/1624 mm
Weight: 1145 kg
Chassis/body: Dallara carbon monocoque chassis and steel roll cage
Engine: 3799cc, V6 twin-turbo
Power/torque: 550 hp/630 Nm
Top speed: 295 km/h
Transmission: rear wheel drive; Sadev 7-speed semi-automatic paddle shift gearbox
Front/rear suspension: Double wishbone + pushrods
Braking: PFC brakes with 380 mm steel discs and 6-piston calipers
Tyres: Michelin 30/68 R18 (front) et 31/71 R18 (rear)
YouTube Video : Chris Harris’ test drive