Renault’s decision could be attributed to its return to Formula One

The Renault Sport Trophy racing series made its debut in 2015 to much fanfare. One year later, the series will only finish out the 2016 season before it’s officially cancelled. The decision to cut the cord on the series comes at a point in time wherein Renault, considered as one of the most engaged and actively involved automakers in motor racing, is in the middle of reconfiguring its racing programs.

The French automaker has already exited the Formula Renault 3.5 series and with the abrupt closure of the Renault Sport Trophy, it’s once thriving Renault Sport Series program is down to Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. That said, the series departures doesn’t mean Renault is giving up motor racing entirely. Far from it, actually, because the automaker has increased its involvement in Formula E and has even jumped back into the Formula One fray as an actual team instead of just an engine supplier for the first time in six years.

Clearly, Renault is as involved in motor racing as it has always been; it’s just shifting its priorities from running its own make-series to heading back to the glamour and prestige of Formula One while also doubling down on its commitment to Formula E.

While it’s hard to make sense of the rationale in starting a hyped racing series like the Renault Sport Trophy and then cutting the cord before it can even get off the ground, it’s just as hard to argue against that decision when Renault is boosting its involvement in Formula E and Formula One.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

What happens to those beautiful Renault RS 01 race cars?

Arguably the biggest casualties of Renault’s decision to cut the cord on the Sport Trophy racing series are those Renault RS 01 race cars that the automaker debuted to much fanfare back in 2014. The purpose-built sports racing car was built by Dallara and used the same 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine that Godzilla itself, the Nissan GT-R, uses.

Fortunately, those race cars aren’t going to end up in people’s garages to sit for eternity; they’re actually going to have a different purpose. Turns out, Renault has informed the 30 teams still competing in the series the opportunity to convert their RS 01 race cars into GT3-spec racers, allowing these cars to compete in a myriad of GT3 races all over the world.

It’s a pretty good off in my opinion because if you think about it, the RS 01 race cars deserve to compete in bigger and more competitive races than having them compete against each other. It’s going to have stronger competition in the GT3 class against other automakers, which, in my opinion, is what the RS 01 was built to do in the first place.

Read our full review on the 2015 Renaultsport R.S. 01 here.

Source: Autosport

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