17/07/2019

Rare Renault Sports dazzle at Goodwood

Renault Sport enthusiasts were not left disappointed at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed as a goodly collection of the marque’s most popular competition cars were demonstrated up the event’s famous hill…
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Current Renault F1 Team driver Daniel Ricciardo was at the wheel of the latest Mégane R.S. Trophy-R during the four-day extravaganza (4-7 July).

Sharing duties behind the wheel of the 300hp machine was its test and development driver Laurent Hurgon who recently drove it to a new front-wheel-drive lap record around Germany’s Nordschleife circuit.

Another fans’ favourite, Renault F1 legend René Arnoux, also proved a hit with the 300,000 visitors to the event as he celebrated his 71st birthday there!

Arnoux was at the wheel of one of his most famous cars, the RS10, in which he achieved a second (Silverstone) and third (Dijon) during 1979’s F1 season as well as two pole positions (Zandvoort and Österreichring).

There was even a demo from the ‘screaming’ V8-powered Renault-powered Lotus F1 car from 2012 (nowadays used for city centre-type demonstrations) as well as appearances from two less obvious pieces of machinery…

Both from the Eighties, a ‘Group B’ 5 Turbo rally car and a 21 Turbo race car received plenty of admiring glances from those to line the course.

The 5 Turbo was rallied in the early Eighties by Renault ‘stalwart, Frenchman Alain Serpaggi (co-driven by Jean-Pierre Prevot) as speeds and power output in the sport reached new levels all together – 300hp plus with acceleration going on to nearly match those in F1 at the time.

It was also used to form Renault Sport’s latest single-model saloon/hot hatch racing championship of the era – the 5 Turbo Eurocup that attracted huge grids as it ran alongside various European F1 Grand Prix between 1981-84.

It was replaced in 1985 by the Alpine V6 (1985-88) before it, too, was succeeded by the 21 Turbo, albeit for just two seasons (1989-90). Italian Massimo Sigala was champion in both years but, with a 4wd transmission, the car also became a highly effective proposition in the French Super Production/Supertourisme racing category with Renault superstar Jean Ragnotti actually winning the title in 1988 (although it was his follow year’s car which ran at Goodwood).