Bet you liked the idea in the title, didn’t you. Same here. It would be absolutely fantastic to see Renault or Nissan on the WRC stages, but this will not happen in the near future, sadly. Only Toyota expressed genuine interest in joining the series recently, but perhaps Renault isn’t too far away as well. Especially if 2014 delivers on its promises, coverage and promotion wise. Until then, Renault is going to build their R specced Clios and observe the WRC from a safe distance.
Even though Renault is not considering WRC, at least not in public, they will happily share their passion for the sport and the tradition of rally cars carrying Renault badge. Fifty years ago, the legendary Renault 8 Gordini began its motor sports career and to mark this anniversary, Team Renault Classic will enter this year’s Rallye Monte Carlo Historique with a fleet consisting of five Renault 8 Gordinis. Famous blue livery included.
Of course, Renault on rally stages would not be complete without another R, for Jean Ragnotti. He will be behind the wheel of one car, co-driven by Michel Duvernay.
The five crews are:
- N°8: Jean Ragnotti will have the car he drove on his first rally in 1967 (Rallye du Vaucluse). His co-driver will be Michel Duvernay, a former Renault 4L Cross and Renault 5 GT Turbo Trophy winner.
- N°12: former Alpine test driver Alain Serpaggi will have Jean-Pierre Prevost sitting alongside.
- N°17: Michel Leclère, winner of the ‘Premier Pas Dunlop Coupe Gordini’ in 1969, has teamed up with journalist Vincent Roussel.
- N°19: Thierry Chancel and François Forgeoux are both Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique regulars and will share a reasonably rare 1,100cc version of the car.
- N°22: Gilles Zaffini, a Renault agent and motorsport fan from Bron, near Lyon, and his navigator Serge Mollar.
The rally begins on January 24, and Team Renault Classic has chosen to start this year’s event from Reims, northeast France. The end is scheduled for the night of January 28-29, in Monaco.