The legendary WSR had returned to Hungary for the 9th time this year. The Hungarian race was always among the highlight events of Renault’s motor racing series and it is a marked date in every Hungarian gearhead’s calendar as well.


The track, near the Hungarian capital Budapest, usually generates strong feelings for the drivers. Some hate it and some love it, but there is not a single driver who can shrug his shoulders when hear the track’s name: Hungaroring.




The track requires cool heads and un-erring hands. There is no room for mistakes, and gripping battles are guaranteed. Knowing this, I was more than excited when I received my media pass confirmation letter from Renault Sport. It was guaranteed that this weekend would be an unforgettable motorsport experience with more than 90,000 spectators in the wings!


The WSR is 100% organized by Renault Sport. The French manufacturer makes a huge investment in motorsports, even though racing is the last thing that comes to my mind in connection with their road cars.



Renault has been participating in motorsports for 115 years and continues to organise track racing events to this day. The World Series by Renault has existed in its current form from 2005, giving an extraordinary opportunity for the talented drivers who wish to pursue a carrier in F1 or GT racing, such as the DTM, World Endurance Championship or the Japanese Super GT series. The racing weekend is usually divided into three main categories: The Formula Renault 2.0, the Formula Renault 3.5 and the most exciting one (for me at least), the Renault Sport Trophy starring the freshly released RS-01 GT car.


Late afternoon on Friday before the race weekend started, I was out at the track to complete my registration and collect my pass, so I took a walk around the track to find some cool spots to shoot during the races. I spent hours walking up and down the pit-lane watching the preparations in the sunset, chatting with the teams and trying to figure out where to stand the next day during the pit-stops. In the first pit, I discovered a little corner prepared for the journalists with some fresh water and a coffee machine! It appeared to be not working, so I asked for help from a gentleman standing next to me wearing a white shirt with a Renault logo on it. As it turned out, he was the communications director of Renault. After a short conversation with him, I found myself in the passenger seat of a Clio RS, approaching the first corner of the track doing 200+ kph! My driver was an ex-Porsche GT pilot, and to enhance the thrill there was another Clio out, continuously dogfighting with us. They were like two crazy puppies chasing each other in the yard. After the hot lap, my blood pressure was sky high even without coffee!


Saturday morning I was out at the track early, before the first qualifying session started. The hot air was full of the smell of burning tires, clutch plates and racing fuel. Clear skies and high temperatures awaited the crowds to be a part of the two-day long craziness.



The weekend started with the qualifying sessions of the two formula classes, followed by the first races in the afternoon. The stakes are not small for these junior drivers, the top-performing pilots having a run to the Formula 1 teams. 60% of the current F1 field of drivers came from this series! The cars in the F3.5 are technically also close to F1, being equipped with a 3.4 litre V8 producing 530hp and a DRS system, same as F1.




The event is very well organised, the racing complemented by a huge variety of family programs such as firefighter shows, an exhibition of old Renault race cars or the Infinity Red Bull Racing F1 show.


Felix Da Costa drew some nice circles to finish the day for the satisfaction of the fans.


Renault also showed the new road-legal RS models in a procession. This was more like a ballet with cars than a simple moving exhibition.


Thanks to the firefighters, I was lucky enough to take a shot of the grid from 50m high from their scaling ladder!! [Imagine trying to do that in Australia – Matyi]


The program had the same structure for the two days. The qualifying sessions of the three classes mixed with the races sometimes interrupted the well-executed show elements.



The only major difference was the 70 lap long endurance race for the RS-01 category on Saturday, what was a highlighted event in my notes. The Renault Sport Trophy started this year, and there are only two races behind these cars.



Renault’s concept was to create an affordable championship between Clio Cup and the pro-class GT series. The car is a brand new design, built around a carbon monocoque shell by Dallara with a steel roll cage on the top.


As a result of the cooperation between Renault and Nissan, the engine comes straight from the Nismo workshop, based on the R35 GT-R’s VR38 3.8L V6 twin-turbo, headed with a dry sump system and tuned to around 550hp.



A seven gear sequential gearbox and adjustable LSD is dropped in between the engine and the rear wheels and your GT beast is ready to attack the European racetracks.



The powertrain is built with low cost in mind – the engine must perform through 15,000km without a rebuild, which means two seasons in WSR. That’s exceptional durability in racing conditions.


They run three races during the weekend, and all of them highly exceeded my expectations. The view was incredible when the field counting fifteen cars hit the first corner!


Watching these gripping races for two days, I think that Renault have made it. They created a perfect learning environment for the drivers and the teams as well with equal technical background, integrated into a very spectator-orientated event.


In this way, the junior mechanics can learn how to work under pressure, how to perform a perfect pit stop and how the cars behaving under race conditions.


Despite spending over 12 hours at the track on both days in the record heat, there was a constant smile on my face. Being so close to these cars and teams, having the opportunity to have an inside look into the work of these enthusiasts was an indescribable experience!


A big thank you goes to Downshift to help me to be the part of the racing world for that long weekend!

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