Few automakers run such extensive motorsport activities that Renault does – especially when it comes to circuit racing. But the French automaker has been reconfiguring its racing programs, and the latest move will see it shut down the Renault Sport Trophy.
Launched just last year, the Trophy is the latest in a long line of spec racing series run by Renault, stretching back all the way to 1976. The current iteration replaced the Mégane-centered Eurocup with the RS 01, a purpose-built sports racing car built by Dallara and powered by the Nissan GT-R’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6.
The car debuted in 2014 and has formed the backbone of the series since 2015. But the series will cease operation with the end of the current season, scheduled to take place this coming weekend at Estoril in Portugal.
The 30 teams currently competing in the series are being offered the opportunity to convert their cars to GT3 spec, which will open up a whole array of possibilities for competition around the world.
The Trophy is the second such casualty of Renault Sport’s shift in focus following the withdrawal of its support from the Formula Renault 3.5 series. With the cancellation of the Trophy as well, the erstwhile Renault Sport Series (previously known as the World Series by Renault) now comes down solely to Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup – a vital step along the formula racing ladder whose championship was previously won by eventual F1 drivers Stoffel Vandoorne, Valterri Bottas, Kamui Kobayashi, Scott Speed, and Felipe Massa.
The cancellations come as Renault has re-entered F1 and increased its involvement in Formula E.