In 1906, the city of Le Mans hosted the first ever French Grand Prix, which was won by local favourites Renault. Since then, however, the French manufacturer has only tasted success in the subsequent 24 Hours of Le Mans once. That single victory came at the 1978 edition of the endurance racing classic and following that win, 'La Regie' retired from sports car racing and has not returned. This success came for Renault at the third attempt with the Alpine-built, six cylinder turbo engined sports racer that had faced very strong opposition from Porsche's similar 936. In recent weeks, we have been fortunate to capture two of the four cars raced by the Renault-Alpine squad in 1978, including the actual winning A442B. Still owned by Renault, it has not been turned into a museum exhibit but is maintained at full running order and this not for demonstration purposes but for racing. This was demonstrated at the recent Le Mans Classic where it was driven at full pelt by rally-ace Jean Ragnotti and Renault COO Carlos Tavares, in spite of the treacherous weather conditions. This allowed us to shoot an 18-shot gallery of Renault's only Le Mans winning car in all its glory during the day and night sessions and also in the rain.
Used as hare during the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans was this Renault-Alpine A443. Compared to the winning car, this had a slightly larger engine and a longer wheelbase. In keeping with its role to set a rival-breaking pace, it duly retired from the race close to the 300-lap mark. Like the Le Mans winner, it has been maintained to full running order and is a veteran of multiple Le Mans Classics, as well as a regular at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. We captured the car several of these appearances, resulting in this 24-shot gallery.

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1978 Renault-Alpine A443 - Images, Specifications and Information

1978 Renault-Alpine A442B - Images, Specifications and Information