Offered by RM Sotheby’s – Conceived because the successor to the Alpine A440 and A441—the prolific podium mainstays of European endurance racing within the Seventies—the A442 is likely one of the first to put on the Renault-Alpine badge following the merger between Renault, Alpine and the tuning agency, Gordini. The A442 was the primary car that the newly fashioned outfit would area on the racetrack and like its Alpine predecessors, the race automotive is powered by the Renault-Gordini V-6 2.0-liter engine. Nevertheless, what would differentiate the A442 from earlier fashions is the Garrett turbocharger that nearly doubled its energy output from 270 brake horsepower to a breath-taking 490 brake horsepower. Renault-Alpine constructed simply 4 examples of the A442: chassis 4420, chassis 4421, chassis 4422, and 4423.

On 25 April 1976, this automotive, chassis quantity 4422, would make its first race look, pushed by Henri Pescarolo and Jean-Pierre Jarier racing below quantity “1” on the 4 Hours of Monza, competing within the Trofeo Filippo Caracciolo. Chassis 4422 certified third and achieved a formidable 2nd place total end. The next month, chassis 4422 raced by Scheckter and Pescarolo below quantity “3” on the Imola 500 kilometers, a race the place it will rating a DNF. From 12 to 13 June, chassis 4422 is believed to have made its first look at Le Mans, utilized in follow classes as automotive quantity “19”. On 27 June, chassis 4422 would race within the Coppa Florio below quantity “2” pushed by Jacques Laffite and Patrick Depailler. The race was held on the Autódroma di Pergusa the place the automotive achieved pole place in qualifying however sadly didn’t end the race. Practically two months later, chassis 4422 raced within the World Sports activities Automotive Championship at Mosport on August twenty second. Racing below quantity “1” and pushed by Patrick Depailler the automotive certified 4th and would finally end the race in the identical place. On 5 September chassis 4442 was raced within the Dijon 500 Kilometers held on the Circuit des Dijon-Prenois. For this race the automotive was campaigned below quantity “4” and piloted by Jacques Laffite and Patrick Depailler. The automotive certified 1st and would end the race in 2nd place.

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All 4 A442s had been fielded by Renault-Alpine within the 1977 24 Hours of Le Mans. Chassis 4422, donned racing below quantity “8” and the Renault/Elf sponsorship livery. Staff drivers for the race had been Jacques Laffite and Patrick Depailler. Chassis 4422 would qualify second, behind solely quantity “9” A442 pushed by Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Derek Bell. Sadly, not one of the A442s would end the race, every retiring early because of engine issues. Chassis 4422 was the final to retire, finishing 289 laps.

For the 1978 Le Mans, Renault-Sport would return, this time fielding two A442As, one A442B, and one A443. Decided to show Renault’s means to succeed at Le Mans, the race additionally served as a bid to show the crew’s mettle to Renault executives, who had sought to wind down Le Mans racing to focus solely on the Components 1 crew. Automotive quantity “3” was pushed by Derek Bell and Jean-Pierre Jarier, it certified sixth and would sadly DNF, finishing 162 laps earlier than retiring because of gearbox issues. Automotive quantity “1” was pushed by Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Patrick Depailler, certified 2nd and would almost end the race, finishing 279 laps earlier than retiring because of mechanical failure. Automotive quantity “4”, pushed by Jean Ragnotti, Man Frequelin, Jose Dolhem, and Jean-Pierre Jabouille, certified eighth and would end the race 4th having accomplished 359 laps. Automotive quantity “2”, the only A442B, was piloted by Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud. They’d begin the race in fifth and go on to safe Renault’s first total victory on the famed 24-hour race. Their 370 accomplished laps had been 5 greater than the 2nd-place Martini Porsche 936 pushed by Bob Wollek, Jurgen Barth, and Jacky Ickx. This historic consequence marked what could be the primary and solely Le Mans victory for Renault to this point. With the famend French marque profitable probably the most prestigious race in motorsport, celebrations ensued throughout the nation, highlighted by a parade by which the profitable quantity “2” automotive was pushed down the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

Following the 1978 Le Mans, chassis 4422 was owned by Jean Sage, who served because the director of the Renault Components 1 crew from 1977 to 1985. Mr. Sage, who would later grow to be well-known as a race supervisor for Ferrari’s F40 LM efforts in addition to the race director/founding father of the Ferrari Historic Problem sequence, subsequently offered chassis 4422 to Adrien Maeght who would go onto show the automotive in his Musee de l’Automobiliste in Mougins, France for over 25 years. The automotive was then acquired from Mr. Maeght by Mr. Guikas in 2014, and it has been on static show in his assortment ever since. Mechanically restored, we had the pleasure to see the automotive operating on the Paul Ricard racetrack for the picture and video taking pictures.

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Regardless of there being simply two manufacturing facility supported Renault automobiles within the 1978 Le Mans, the id of the particular profitable automotive has been in query for years. Nevertheless, proof on file compiled by Pierre Abeillon supplies a compelling argument to it being this automotive. Over a interval of 20 years Mr. Abeillon was in a position to compile proof and examine every Renault-Alpine A442 in individual as a choose on the Goodwood Pageant of Velocity and numerous different occasions. Mr. Abeillon first famous that every A442 automotive exhibited distinctive options, as every automotive was hand-built. Specifically, Abeillon took pictures of the rivets securing the chassis plate above the pedal bins of every automotive and in contrast them to a interval {photograph} of the profitable Le Mans automotive with the physique off and pedals uncovered. What he found was that chassis 4423’s rivets don’t match the rivets within the interval {photograph} of the profitable Le Mans automotive. The rivet sample on chassis 4422, this automotive, has a rivet sample that’s similar to that of the Le Mans profitable automotive. It must be famous that Renault disputes the truth that 4422 is the 1978 Le Mans winner, which they consider to be 4423; one of many major arguments being the presence on the A442 B and A443 of a bracket, welded to the chassis, that holds the bubble lock, and this bracket is just not on 4422. RM Sotheby’s invitations all events to evaluate the documentation on file for 4422.

As the one Renault-Alpine A442 in personal arms, 4422 presents a novel alternative for collectors to accumulate one of the crucial profitable sports activities racers of the late Seventies. Nonetheless in “time capsule” situation, 4422 stays nearly unaltered from 1978. Coming with a complete spares bundle, together with a number of spare engines and various different elements, 4422 may very well be ready to make an excellent return to the observe ought to the following caretaker want to carry the automotive again to Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans or different historic racing venues.

RM Sotheby’s will current this car as a part of a single-owner assortment comprised of 75 of the best racing and highway automobiles on the planet, provided solely with out reserve. The Guikas Assortment, to be offered at Paul Ricard Circuit in France in November 2021, presents pedigrees spanning from the endurance racing of the 24 Hours of the Le Mans to the world stage of Components One and almost every little thing in between. The gathering of race automobiles will present fashionable racing fanatics an introduction into nearly all classic racing sequence worldwide, together with GT and highway automobiles which are equally spectacular which supply a big selection of Pre- and Put up Conflict sports activities automobiles.