Hillclimb Hero

CropEdit_0291_4eafee85d8908-lightboxThe first fix to report for the Megane was a replacement drivers-side door trim, where the window meets the B-pillar. I have no idea how it went missing. However, this small piece of triangular plastic covers a gap in the door frame and was sourced easily and cheaply from dismantlers cit-ren.co.uk in Norwich.
That niggle taken care of and with the prospect of improving weather, it was time to explore the performance potential of the car a little more. So during the summer months I booked the car and I in to two hillclimb schools as an alternative to the mainstream of trackdays. The first was at Harewood in May, the second was Gurston Down in June.
I am delighted to report the car showed itself well enough to allow me to win ‘driver of the day’ on both occasions! Much was learnt about accuracy and consistency which would serve any track driver well. Most of all both days were fun and relaxed – definitely recommended.
The Track events also demonstrated how well judged the RenaultSport Megane’s handling balance, steering and traction control systems are straight from the factory.
These factors combined to encourage an entry in to the first ‘How Fast’, a timed trackday event run by MSV at Bedford Autodrome in July. There we had the dubious honour of being the first to set a lap time, and duly managed a 1:32.3s lap of the West Circuit. Whilst not a class leading time, I am happy the Megane is above a number of faster cars on the leaderboard. Especially as it was the first time we’d ever seen the circuit!
One weakness did seem apparent after all this on-track activity – a soft brake pedal. So after a little research on the owners forums, I decided to try some braided hoses to give a firmer pedal. These were sourced from brake-lines.co.uk – a Hel distributor, for £58.45 delivered.
Fitting was carried out at Kent Renault independent specialist Ren7oaks.co.uk, who were again excellent. Whilst there they also serviced the car and replaced a broken exhaust mount. The bill came to just over £400.00 all in.
Only a week or so later the car was back there again, but not for anything more serious than a battery barely able to start the engine. The ever helpful guys fitted a new replacement the same day.
Finally and most recently, with an MoT looming in December it was time to replace the hard-worked front tyres. Dunlop’s SportMaxx TT had performed well enough in all conditions, so that when Elite Direct came up with a price of £156.00 each, fitted; I didn’t think twice.

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Russell Brewis