01/06/2015

Renaultsport provides ride of a lifetime

We’ve all been there – stuck on Monte Carlo’s Boulevard Albert 1er on Grand Prix weekend and in a real hurry to get to its famous Casino before the doors shut. With chauffeurs like Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen and Renaultsport rallying legend Jean Ragnotti you just might have a chance…
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Monaco GP weekend enabled Renaultsport to show off its latest mouth-watering machinery ranging from the sensational Formula Renault 3.5 single-seaters and their junior 2.0 category to the company’s outrageous 550hp R.S 0.1 silhouette racer and Clio Renaultsport 220 EDC Trophy road car (soon to appear on the UK’s roads)

That also meant a number of excruciatingly lucky Renaultsport VIP guests being given a ‘tour’ of the GP circuit in the R.S 0.1 and Clio Trophy by Messrs Ricciardo, Kvyat, Sainz, Verstappen and Ragnotti (affectionately known as ‘Jeannot’).

St Dévote, Beaurivage, Massenet, Casino, Mirabeau, Loews, Portiers, Tunnel, Chicane, Tabax, Piscine, La Rascasse… all must have passed with quite a blur.

Here’s what some of them had to say having been picked up from and then dropped off by their drivers on Boulevard Albert 1er – commonly known as Monaco’s start-finish straight (which is actually a long curve)…

“I was so excited when I got into the car I didn’t even realise I was in Monaco. Then Sainte-Dévote came, Mirabeau, the Tunnel, the Swimming Pool … the places that make you realise where you are. It was amazing.”

“I’m still a bit shaken. I didn’t think it was possible to get to the Casino so quickly in a Clio. I can’t even begin to imagine how fast single-seaters and other race cars are.”

“It was a unique experience. The most disconcerting thing was that Jean Ragnotti was talking to me as if nothing was happening, all while he was taking the car to within just a few centimetres of the barriers. Even though it was only a hot lap, he lived up to his reputation as ‘Jeannot’, our national hero, and he allowed himself the luxury of passing someone.”