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Little Classics News: 20 June 2015

Renault to Showcase Motorsport History at Goodwood

Renault Type K

Renault will showcase over 115 years of motorsport history at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, with cars ranging from the 1902 Renault Type K to the 2005 Formula 1 Renault R25.

Renault has committed to a further three-year agreement with Lord March to participate actively in the Festival of Speed at Goodwood. Michael Van der Sande, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, said: “Ever since our company was founded back in 1898, the people at Renault have been passionate about motorsport. We are very proud to be partners of the Goodwood Festival of Speed for three more years. The Festival of Speed is a very unique event in Europe: it is the perfect setting for us to share our passion for motorsport with equally passionate members of the public.”

So, here are their range of classic cars attacking the hill:

1902 Renault Type K

The Type K (top) brought Renault its first international racing victory in 1902. The company entered three cars in the Paris to Vienna race, although few thought they had much chance of winning against several far more powerful cars. But the Type K’s low weight was a real asset on the races hilly roads, bringing Marcel Renault victory at an impressive average speed of 38.8mph over 807 miles.

1926 Renault 40CV Type NM des records

Renault 40 CV Montlhery

This spectacular car – its long, deep bonnet occupies almost half its length – sat at the pinnacle of the Renault range in the 1920s and took part in many of the speed trials popular at the time. In 1926 the ultimate version of this 9.0 litre car was developed, complete with single seat, streamlined coupe bodywork, exposed wheels and a 14-strong crew trained in the art of refuelling it. It covered 50 miles at 118.1mph, and went on to achieve a 24-hour average of 107.9mph.

1975 Renault 17 Groupe 5

Competing in rallies from 1972 to 1975, the R17 was the first Renault model to win a round of the World Rally Championship in 1975. A total of 14 official cars were prepared by the factory and this is the last and most successful of the run. This group 5 version included many aluminium components to reduce weight. Its 1.8-litre engine produced 185hp transmitted through front wheel drive. Weighing 820kg, its top speed was over 120mph.

1984 Renault R5 Maxi Turbo

1984 Renault R5 Maxi Turbo

By the mid ‘70s the sun had finally set on the Alpine A110’s glittering rally career, Renault’s rival Lancia dominating the scene with its mid-engined Stratos. Renault’s surprising answer was an urban supermini - its hugely successful Five. The idea was to move its engine from the front to the middle of the car. The result was a rather strange looking Five, its rear wings distended by swollen wheel arches, its rear seats sacrificed to a box housing a highly tuned, turbocharged 1.4 litre engine of 162hp.

The Rally Championship rules required that this weirdly appealing little car enter production, in the process creating one of Renault’s many legendary performance machines and a highly collectible car today. The Renault 5 Maxi Turbo scored its maiden win on the 1981 Monte Carlo rally, and remained a potent force until the all-wheel drive Group B cars arrived.


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