There will always be a feud between bikers and drivers, and perhaps that’s a good thing. That rivalry will never be truly settled, not because of the enormous pride at stake, but because there are simply too many variables present to compare the two accurately. Nonetheless, we can accept that bikes typically win on straighter courses, and cars with plenty of grip have a certain advantage with technical tracks. Well, the Nurburgring Nordschliefe offers both, so what better venue to demonstrate the merits of different platforms?
It’s an exceptionally great spectacle to see these two face off when both pilots are quite handy. The man managing the four tires underneath the Renault Megane RS is by no means an amateur, and is quite capable at throwing the little French hatchback around. Not that it isn’t willing to indulge in this kind of behavior, as the Megane RS is likely the quickest road car offered from the French auto titan for some time.
With 265 horsepower, a clever front differential and track-ready suspension, the front-driven Renault has been lauded by journalists for years now. That differential makes all the difference, as it allows the driver to put that turbocharged power down pre-apex, and trim the line with the throttle. Not often does one get that with a front wheel-drive car.
Now, seeing as the rider, Nino Pallavicini, is riding a BMW S1000RR with 180 horsepower, the Renault simply cannot compete on the straightaway. Given an opportunity, the BMW comes whizzing past on the inside, and begins to walk away with incredible straight-line performance. Come braking zones and technical sections however, and the nimble French bruiser has no problem closing the gap, even if the motorcyclist’s lines are a bit neater and more dramatic — but then again they have to be.
The Megane’s driver is no less courageous, however. Through the remainder of the track, the two keep in touch with one another, expertly doing away with traffic of both the two- and four-wheel persuasion, and finding the apex regardless of the obstacles. There aren’t plenty of videos which demonstrate the strengths of these platforms in such close comparison, and when those merits are combined with two drivers capable of extracting that performance, the spectacle is special, indeed. Time to buy some plane tickets to Germany.