This morning's confirmation that Renault will be back at La Sarthe has us looking back at the A442B
It’s official, then: Renault will once again race at La Sarthe. And while this morning’s announcement only confirms that the company will supply its Alpine chassis to the Signatech team in the LMP2 category this year, it does pave the way for a potential full-blown LMP1 entry in 2014 or 2015.
This is undoubtedly fantastic news for motorsport fans across the world and for the future health of the World Endurance Championship. And there can be no better excuse to root through the archives to find this classic shot of Renault-Alpine’s last great prototype endurance racer – the Renault Alpine A442B - on its way to winning the 1978 Le Mans 24h.
Powered by a Renault-Gordini turbocharged V6 that developed over 500hp, and driven by Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, the A442B flew to victory in the 1978 race, hitting over 215mph on the Mulsanne Straight along the way. So strenuous was the experience that Pironi, driving for the final stint, was unable to make the climb up to the podium to take the trophy, leading Jaussaud to do so on his own.
No small feat, then, but a victory to be proud of, and a proud heritage for Renault-Alpine to live up to when it makes its comeback.
it would have been even faster, but it was hampered by having to pit repeatedly to remove ingested birds, cats, dogs, small children and rene arnoux from the air intake..............
chevronb3709 Mar 2013
I think the article is a bit misleading. It's an Oreca chassis branded Alpine. In principle, though, excellent news.
Buff Mchugelarge08 Mar 2013
Lets say that again..
Brave, brave men!
stephendell08 Mar 2013
Following wind tunnel testing in 1977, the A442B and A443 were introduced in 1978 with an acrylic glass "bubble" partial roof, which resulted in an additional 8 km/h (5 mph) in top speed at la Sarthe, but reduced visibility from the driving seat. However, during practice for the 1978 Le Mans 24H, A443 drivers Patrick Depailler and Jean-Pierre Jabouille complained that the bubble made them feel claustrophobic and trapped engine heat inside the cockpit, making driving conditions unbearable. Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Didier Pironi in the A442B persisted with the canopy so only the A442B actually competed with the bubble in place and won!
grumbas08 Mar 2013
Better pic of the windscreen on the other article: