Imagine the chance of being able to meet one of your idols and show off your pride and joy at the same time. For me it would be like meeting Will Smith with a picture of my achingly-impressive lap time around Monza on F1 2016. (The dream).
Well that’s exactly what avid Renault fans got the opportunity to do at Lookers Renault in Newcastle. Actually not exactly, as Mr. Smith was nowhere to be seen unfortunately, but they got the next best thing with Clio Cup title challenger Max Coates on hand to give supporters a rare up-close and personal glimpse of his 2017 Ciceley Motorsport race car.
The 1.6 turbocharged pocket-rocket, which produces a staggering 220 bhp, took centre stage, with the rising-star of British motorsport happy to talk through everything within, from the race-standard sealings dotted around the engine, to the Sadev’s six-speed paddle-shift.
Now, as impressive as the modified Clio was, and believe me it really was, it’s probably not something that would suit a family of four from Shrewsbury. I mean, the lacking of more than one seat, no radio, the in-built construction site and a cockpit with more buttons and switches than a Boeing-747 means it’s unlikely to rival the Dacia Sandero for practicality any time soon. But I suppose, unlike myself, it was probably built more for speed than comfort.
However, the night was not just about the British Touring Car hopeful’s sticker-crazy, four-wheeled speed machine, as those in attendance also got the chance to showcase their own Renault’s for a chance to nab a hotel stay for two, and there were some truly outstanding entries.
A varied line-up comprising of Clios and Meganes all with unique quirks baffled the judging Coates, whose smile when assessing was as though he’d lost 15 years and found himself opening his first present on Christmas morning. But after tough deliberation a winner was chosen, and it couldn’t have been more deserved.
David Moonry and girlfriend Maura’s 2011 plate Renault Megane Renaultsport in racing yellow offered onlookers a biblical chorus similar to that of Puerto Concha from its 2.0L turbocharged 250bhp-emitting engine, proudly displayed in showroom-esque condition. Something that obviously caught the eye of Coates, as well as the celebration of the RS heritage.
This proved an extremely entertaining aspect of the evening, but the night was far from over for the lucky attendees as following the motor-flexing came the opportunity to quiz the Clio Cup star on all things racing. A true and unique insight into life behind the wheel, especially inspiring for the youngsters in the crowd who were as hooked I was to Stone Cold Steve Austin at that age. (Who am I kidding, I still would be today!)
All in all the Show and Shine Event at Lookers Renault Newcastle was something to remember, topped off perfectly by raising £110 for the Bradley Lowery Foundation through merchandise donations.
A top night, with top cars, starring a top bloke. What else could you want from a Thursday night?