Motorsport written in our history
Sporting passion has driven us for over 115 years. Motivated by the challenge, we have always yearned for something new. Since the time of Louis Renault, competitive driving has marked our history and culture.
The early days
Very early on, Louis Renault became aware of the importance of sporting achievements in the development of brand image. On 24 December 1898, he proved the superiority of his first great innovation: direct drive transmission. His Type A Voiturette was the first to climb Montmartre hill along Rue Lepic.
Following this success, Renault made a commitment to automotive competition, going on to win a series of Grand Prix victories. The Renault Type K, with the first engine designed by Renault, won fame in the 1902 Paris to Vienna race. The First World War put automotive competition in Europe on hold. But Renault did not stay away from motorsport for long. The diamond brand returned to glory in the 1920s with the impressive Renault 40CV. Winning the 1925 Monte Carlo Rally, it found fame by beating many track speed records of the time.
In 1958, Renault appointed Italian constructor Amédée Gordini as head of the motorsport division. The legendary Renault 8 Gordini was born. It went on to become a symbol of success for a whole generation of drivers. Its huge popularity led to the creation in 1966 of the Renault 8 Gordini Cup, the first ever one-make racing series.
In July 1970, the launch of the Renault 12 Gordini led to 'G Day', a gathering of Gordini owners at the Paul Ricard Circuit. The spirit of this event continues today through the World Series by Renault. At the same time, Formula Renault made its debut with the first cars fitted with the Renault 12 Gordini engine. France played host to its first Formula Renault championship in 1971.
Takeover of Alpine
In 1973, Renault became the majority shareholder of Alpine, a small French manufacturer founded by Jean Rédélé, with which the brand had had links for many years. 1973 proved to be a good year for the brand as the Alpine A110 "Berlinette" won the first World Rally Championship.