Alpine at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2/3): the win in yellow and black (1975-1978)
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Alpine at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2/3): the win in yellow and black (1975-1978)

This year is Alpine

After having become a subsidiary of Renault in 1973, two years later Alpine made its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the goal of final victory under the name Renault-Alpine. A look back in four stories:

Two women at the wheel - In 1975, a 100% female driver line-up raced the sole Renault-Alpine A441 prototype. Italian driver Lella Lombardi and French driver Marie-Claude Beaumont were unfortunately forced to retire.

1976-1978: Renault-Alpine up against Porsche - In 1976, Porsche presented two models of its new 936 prototype. Its competition was a Renault-Alpine A442 entrusted to Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Patrick Tambay. Jacky Ickx and Gijs van Lennep won the race. In 1977, Renault-Alpine, starting from pole position, lead for a long while, but Porsche won again with Jacky Ickx-Jürgen Barth-Hurley Haywood. 1978 was Renault-Alpine's year of revenge, with a final win for the A442B driven by Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud.

Gérard Larrousse: driver, team manager...and winner! - A former Alpine driver at Le Mans during the 1960s, Gérard Larrousse competed in the 24 Hours with Matra, and won two consecutive victories (1973-74) shared with Henri Pescarolo. In 1978, it was at the helm of the Renault-Alpine team that he won a third victory.

Porsche and Renault-Alpine, the 24 Hours of Le Mans turbocharger in Formula 1 - The common denominator shared by the two adversaries was the technology behind the turbocharged engine. Porsche was the first to bring it to victory at Le Mans, in 1976. After its win in 1978, Renault won with the turbo for the first time in Formula 1 the following year with the win for Jean-Pierre Jabouille at the Grand Prix of France.

Jean-Philippe Doret / ACO - Translation by Nikki Ehrhardt / ACO

Photo: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, SATURDAY JUNE 10 1978, PRE-GRID. A symbolic photo of the duel that punctuated the second half of the 1970s: at left, the Renault-Alpine A442B of future winners Pironi-Jaussaud (at left) next to the Porsche 936.