This is a study of how the first turbo Grand Prix car came to be a reality. Starting with a brief history of Renault, the story moves to the development of Jean Redele’s company, Alpine, and the parts played by Gordini, Elf and Michelin, including much personal input from the men who made it. The first experimental car in 1968 was so nearly raced by Mauro Bianchi in the French GP of that year, but its development was stopped by Renault – the book details the visionary ideas of the talented engineers at that company, as well as at Gordini and Alpine. The creation of a turbo engine for the Alpine sports car led to the idea of a Grand Prix car powered by a turbocharged 1500cc engine. Grand Prix driver Jean Pierre Jabouille’s determination to develop such a car on the track is graphically described, demonstrating the huge technical challenges that awaited the team. The book is stunningly illustrated and is completed by a full record of the developments and races during the turbo era. Features a transcript of the first public test, race reports on every event, over 400 photos and special illustrations.
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About the Author
Roy Smith is a retired company director with a life-long passion for motorsport in general, and, since 1968, for Alpine Renault in particular. He began writing in the 1960s for club magazines, mainly interviewing notable people of the time. A 40 year career in sales and marketing included the preparation of many technical documents, developing an attention to detail that proved essential in writing this book. Roy has written Alpine Renault-related articles regularly since 1989 for various magazines, and is the UK correspondent for a major French Alpine Renault magazine, Mille Miles. Roy began rallying Minis in the 1960s with the Craven Motor Club, was a regional secretary of the 750 Motor Club, served as a fire marshall at Silverstone in the 1970s, returned to motorsports actively in the 1980s, and won 5 regional sprint championships in saloons and single seaters in the 1990s, including a hillclimb championship class with an Alpine Renault A110. He is currently preparing a second book entitled Target le Mans ... Renault and the Alpine Sports Prototypes.