Gavin is among the brains behind the Clio Sport Owners Club Scotland Facebook page which now has close to 1500 members.
But don’t be fooled by the title – it is there to serve anyone with a passion for sporty Renaults, regardless of model.
Among the community’s next meets is one of its ‘Super Lap’ events around the Knockhill racing circuit (14 May) and Gavin will be among those on track – at the wheel of his stunning 2012-spec Clio Cup 200 race car (imported from the Netherlands).
It is one of eight Renault Sports that Gavin has owned in the last 30 months and he’s clearly not going to let go any time soon.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” says Gavin. “With it being a proper race car, the way it handles – it sticks to corners like glue, even in wet conditions. I’ve never driven anything like it. It’s got less power than a lot of cars I’ve owned but it’s not about the power – it’s the chassis, the suspension, the Sadev sequential gearbox, the grip from the slick racing tyres.”
However Gavin admits the French cars were not always his first choice.
“I had always been into my Japanese cars. They’ve got power but around the corners they could not beat the Clios – the road cars I mean, not just the race car. That’s what got me interested and I caught the bug from there.”
So what else has he had in his locker these past few years? The list goes like this – each tendered to by tuning house GI Motorsport in Kilmarnock:
- Liquid Yellow Clio 182
- Clio 172 Cup (track car)
- Clio 200 (supercharged)
- Clio Williams (track car)
- Mégane 225 F1
- Mégane R26R (450bhp)
- Clio 182 Trophy (track car)
- ‘X85’ Clio Cup (race car)
“It started with a yellow Clio 182 which I bought late 2014 for £3500 with 48,000 miles on the clock. I still own it and it’s about to click 60,000.
“The R26 was fun – it shot flames – but all that power but it was difficult to put down on track with turbo lag and then wheel spin.
“I’ve got a soft spot for the Williams… iconic 90s hot hatch and it’s got a good feel about it. I took it in part exchange for the 225 F1 and paid £3500. That was with 101,000 on the clock and I’ve only ever used it for track days so it only had about another 1500 miles added. The only work it’s needed is a full service and timing belt – everything else is just wear and tear. For a 160bhp car it goes really well.”
Like almost all Renault Sport enthusiasts, Gavin had dreamt of owning the Clio R.S.16 had it been put into production.
“I contacted Renault Sport straight away to pay a deposit but it’s not being made now. I had my heart set on it! Now I’m toying with the idea of a Mégane 275 Trophy in Liquid Yellow…”