An Alpine-Renault armada to contest ‘Le Mans Classic’ (July 6-8, 2012)
Organised biennially, ‘Le Mans Classic’ is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the classic racing car world. More than 400 cars appear on this year’s entry list and some 100,000 spectators are expected to attend the event.
Renault Classic will participate with three works entries in the hands of prestigious drivers and personalities, including Renault’s Chief Operating Officer, Carlos Tavares.
An Alpine M65, in the hands of Alain Serpaggi (FRA) / Richard Meaden (GBR) / Carlos Tavares (POR).
An Alpine Renault A110 1300, for Michel Leclère (FRA) / Jean-Pierre Prévost (FRA).
- A Renault Alpine A442 B (winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1978), shared by Jean Ragnotti (FRA) / Carlos Tavares (POR).
Aside from these three cars, many other Alpine models will take the start (M63, M64, A210 and A220).
Also due to appear at Le Mans for the first time is the Renault Alpine A110-50 concept car which was unveiled at the recent Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.
Finally, the Club Renault corral will feature more than 300 sports Alpine and Renault cars.
This year, the legendary Alpine-Renault A110 Berlinette is celebrating its 50th anniversary, so it was perfectly logical to mark the occasion with a strong presence at the 2012 Le Mans Classic.
Three works cars will consequently take the start in Classes 4, 5 and 6:
Class 4 (for models dating from 1962 until 1965): Alpine M65
- The M65 from Renault Classic will make its second consecutive start at Le Mans Classic.
- Its maiden appearance at the Le Mans 24 Hours was in 1965 when it was shared by Mauro Bianchi and Henri Grandsire.
- It also raced in 1966 in the hands of Pauli Toivonen and Bengt Jansson
- This year, it has been entered for Alain Serpaggi (FRA) / Richard Meaden (GBR) / Carlos Tavares (POR).
Class 5 (1966-1971): Alpine-Renault A110 1300
- The famous Berlinette is undoubtedly one of the iconic cars of the sixties. Unveiled at the 1962 Paris Motor Show, the Alpine A110 Berlinette built its name around a long list of sporting successes, with the crowning glory being the 1973 World Rally Championship title (it scored an historic one-two-three triumph on that year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo).
- The 1300 version of the Berlinette was launched in 1966. Powered by the engine from the R8 Gordini (1,296cc / 115hp), it had a top speed of 215kph
- To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the A110 in 2012, Renault Classic has entered a Berlinette 1300 for Michel Leclère (FRA) /Jean-Pierre Prévost (FRA), which is identical to the cars entered in 1968 for Bernard Collomb/ François Lacarrau and Maurice Nusbaumer /Joseph Bourdon
Class 6 (1972-1979): Renault-Alpine A442 B
- The most prestigious of all Alpines and winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1978 with Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud. That race was the pinnacle of the adventure begun five years earlier, and was rounded off by a fourth-place finish for Jean Ragnotti/Guy Fréquelin/José Dolhem in another A442.
- Running a Renault-Gordini turbocharged V6 two-litre engine, developing more than 500hp, this car reached 350kph along the Mulsanne Straight.
Returning to its old hunting ground, the A442B will be driven by Jean Ragnotti (FRA) and Carlos Tavares (POR).
In order to round off this celebration of Alpine, the Alpine A110-50 concept car will be on show throughout the weekend at the Club Renault display area. It will also open the Supercar parade on Saturday, July 7, at 1:50pm, with Carlos Tavares at its wheel.