11/07/2017

“This could just be my next road car!”

In 13 years as a professional safety car driver Scott Stringfellow has handled some truly exotic machinery in front of some of motor sport’s biggest crowds but he’s immediately put his latest toy – Renault’s Mégane GT 205 – among his favourites so far…
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The seven-speed 1.6-litre turbocharged car – with influence from Renault Sport – is this year being used as official Safety Car for the Renault UK Clio Cup at British Touring Car Championship events. Viewers watching the action live on ITV4 will doubtless have seen it leading the cars to the grid and, on occasion, when there is an incident during a race.

And says Scott: “It’s a lovely car. Hand on heart, I’ve always liked Renaults and now I really want one with this Mégane.

“When I drive different safety cars, some make you go wow. I am swinging towards this as the next road car!”

Consider that Scott drives each manufacturer’s safety car at BTCC events. He’s even likened it in some respects to the Porsche 911 Carrera 4.

“It does have a similar feel to the 911,” he explains. “The steering isn’t slow – it gets in there and tells you what it’s doing because it sits on the springs nicely and gets into the corner and out well.

“I’ve been in safety cars when they are not right tools for the job. Some have been under powered or too soft and that can make life difficult if you need to react to what race control is telling you – you can end up with the race cars right behind, tripping over you.

“But the Mégane enables me to adapt quickly to instructions and conditions. It’s got decent poke, particularly when you pop the R.S button. The screen changes and the speedo turns red around the edges – it’s talking to me. R.S mode also makes the car go that bit stiffer and the gear changes that bit quicker. I have to say the paddle shift on this is very good and it picks up from the bottom end quickly.”

So it’s nifty on the track, but what about as an every day road car?

“Its sportiness makes it agile and in terms of ride it’s a nice balance between hard and soft. It’s got four doors and a decent sized boot – I’ve got kids so it’s practical. The controls are nice and intuitive – I like the dash; there are lots of bits ‘n’ bobs to play with. It’s like mini iPad and it makes it interesting. I think you can tell I’ve been having a properly serious look at this car!”

The Mégane, reckons Scott, could even make an effective track day car.

“A lot of people doing track days like their cars to have fancy bits sticking out of them but you could still turn up in this, bomb around the track, surprise quite a few people and then go home still under the radar. If you like a sheep in wolf’s clothing…”

CLICK HERE to discover more about the Mégane GT.