The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka earlier this year ended up being one to forget for Renault but the French firm has banished all memories of that weekend by smashing a lap record at the very same track.

The Megane R.S. Trophy-R set a new front-wheel-drive record with French GT driver Laurent Hurgon behind the wheel. The car lapped the 3.6 mile course in 2m 25.454s – a whole three seconds quicker than the previous front-wheel-drive record at the same track. The record adds to the Nurburgring and Spa-Francorchamps records already achieved by the Megane R.S. Trophy-R.

Record de la Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R à Suzuka

Japan is the leading market for Renault's R.S. range, ahead of both Germany and France, and is the world's third-biggest market for the Megane R.S. The company estimates that there are as many as 10,000 Renault Sport fans in Japan, too.

More than 50 examples of the car have been reserved for customers in Japan so far. In fact, before the Megane R.S. Trophy-R even went on sale in Japan, Renault took the car to Suzuka to carry out further development work to make sure it was perfectly set up for the Japanese market.

Record de la Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R à Suzuka

"The new Megane R.S. Trophy-R has set a new record in its category, this time at Suzuka, the leading circuit in Japan," said Patrice Ratti, Renault Sport Cars general manager. "This performance is particularly meaningful for the 10,000 strong local community of Renault Sport and Trophy-R fans."

"It demonstrates the effectiveness of the specific testing campaign we conducted on site to best meet their expectations. This is enough to further strengthen the relationship with our very international customer base."

Gallery: Record of the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R in Suzuka