It’s been Mégane R.S.s all the way for Jake since a ‘big bum’ ’06 plate 225 Cup in black caught his eye.
“It had anthracite wheel and just looked fab – I’d never even considered one before that but bought it without even test driving it!
“I’d always been into my classic Minis but the Mégane just blew me out of the water with how much quicker it was over what I’d thought was an OK road-going car.”
A trip to RS Tuning in Leeds for a re-map, Forge intercooler and dump valve “soon brought her up to 270bhp – that was about 335ft/lb which was quite impressive. I also had the car lowered by 30mm.”
After 50,000 miles of pleasure (and now with over 80,000 on the clock), Jake’s next purchase was an R26 and again he started to fettle…
“I was doing quite a lot of track days and wanted something that got the power down that bit better – the R26s came with a limited slip differential as standard, plus my girlfriend, who until recently owned a very smart black Clio 197, had bought me a K-Tec carbon fibre bonnet so I went for it!”
Cue another RS Tuning re-map, Forge intercooler and dump valve and, behold: 258bhp and 309ft/lb. Oh, and it was also fitted with lowering springs from UK Clio Cup race team Cooksport’s workshop.
All was well until Jake then sampled a pal’s ‘Gen 3’ 250 Cup on a track day at Croft Circuit. “It was the fastest thing I’d ever driven and I’d also just got a decent pay-out on a Mini after a prang so went to Evans Halshaw in Doncaster and ordered a brand new 265 in black with the Cup pack.
Anglesey, Cadwell Park and Blyton were soon conquered but then, out of the blue, Jake suffered a cardiac arrest while at the wheel.
“Luckily a pal was in the car with me and managed to get it stopped – I had blacked out and my heart stopped for eight minutes! Even luckier, they managed to flag down an ambulance which just happened to be passing by and they got my heart going again.
“It means I’m looking at July this year at the earliest before I can get my licence back. I don’t think track days are on the cards any more, but that won’t stop me going after more power with it. I enjoy tinkering.”
“I’m actually looking at hybrid turbo injectors and cans with more aggressive impellers – 375bhp at about 1.7 bar of boost. In fact the F4R engine that’s in them – which actually dates back to the Clio 172 – is such a good engine that maybe even 500bhp is possible.
For all his love of horsepower, Jake admits to being very impressed with the reviews of Renault Sport’s latest 280hp Mégane.
“Renault Sport are very classy as they don’t necessarily go chasing the big power figures with their new models – they are very precise about their philosophy of performance without compromise. They seem much more about the whole car; they’ve certainly got the technology behind them.
“Another thing I like about their cars is they are not common like a Focus ST, VXR or Type-R. There’s just something a bit special about them.”