In the second half of the 1970s, the Renault-Alpine A442 and the Porsche 936 entered into the first duel of turbocompressed engines in the history of the the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Beaten by the 936 in 1976 and 77, the French automaker dominated the 24 Hours in 1978, first with the A443 of Jabouille-Depailler, then with the winning A442B of Pironi-Jaussaud. Renault decided thereafter to pull out and dedicate itself entirely to Formula 1.
June 10 & 11, 1978: 46th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Renault-Alpine race results
Winners: Didier Pironi-Jean Pierre Jaussaud (No. 2)
Fourth: Guy Fréquelin-Jean Ragnotti-José Dolhem-Jean Pierre Jabouille (No. 4)
Retired: Jean Pierre Jarier-Derek Bell (No. 3), Jean Pierre Jabouille-Patrick Depailler (No. 1)
- After two consecutive victories as a Matra driver (1973-74), Gérard Larrousse won in 1978 as the sports director for Renault-Alpine.
- After its win in La Sarthe, the Renault V6 was the first turbocompressed engine to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix, thanks to Jean-Pierre Jabouille.
Jean-Philippe Doret / ACO
Click here to learn more about the Peugeot 905, also exhibited at Geneva.