A Historical Celebration of Road Sports Cars That Took To The Tracks...
VIEW PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE Le MANS ALPINE A310 REPLICA ON FLICKR
RENAULT `SPORT SPIDER` COUPE ( GT 1 )
( Raced in British GT 1996 )
RENAULT SPIDER TROPHY ( GT4 )
( Raced in French + Spanish GT 1999 , plus many
one-make national series )
ENGINE : 2975cc Turbo ( Sport Spider )
Two Sport Spiders entered by Legeay sport tried to
qualify for the 1996 Le Mans 24 hours but neither
started. These were actually coupe versions of the one -make Renault Spider series that ran in France , Spain nad the UK .Main driver Marc Sourd took one car to the UK
and won first time out at Donington in the British GT in
June .Followed by 2nd at Thruxton and 9th at Snetterton
Its only BPR race was at Nogaro , where it ran in GT1 ,
qualified 20th but retired. Both cars ran at the Le Mans
4 hours ( with prototypes ) with Sourd , Gonin , Robert
and Daoudi. These cars reappeared in 1997 but were
renamed Helem V6. Helem ,which means Dream in Arabic
ran 6 rounds of the French GT under the RJ Racing
banner for Sourd and Gerard Dillmann and between them
enjoyed two 2nds and two 3rd places. The team tried but
failed to qualify for both the 1997 and 1998 Le Mans 24.
The smaller engined Spider Trophy cars had been a one-
make series and launched the career of Jason Plato in the
UK. In 1999 five of these cars ran in the French GT series in GT 4 against BMW Z3 Trophee and Porsche 964
cup cars. Likwise in the Spanish GT series that year.
ALPINE-RENAULT A310 V6
( Raced at Le Mans 1977 )
ENGINE : Renault 4 Cylinders 1796cc ( 1971-76 )
Renault V6 Cylinders 2664 cc ( 1975-84 )
POWER : 220 BHP ( Le Mans ) detuned from 245 BHP
WEIGHT : 945 KGS ( Rally version )
TOP SPEED : 159 MPH ( Le Mans 1977 )
PRODUCTION : 11,616 ( of which 9276 with V6 )
The A310 was a natural progression for Alpine in the 70s
with its wedge-shaped styling , bigger engine and overall
much more of a road car than the A110. However few of
the many existing A110 customers stepped up to race a
A310. It was rallied in the mid-70s and ran in both the
1973 Giro D`Italia ( 30th ) and 1974 Tour De France
events ( 13th ). The first competition cars used a 1.8
4 cylinder engine tuned for either 175 bhp ( Carb ) or 16
valve 224 bhp ( injection ).
Marco Vanoli ran one in the lesser DARM German GT in
1975 but the Alpine was never going to really challenge
the Porsches. The cars highlight was qualifying for the
1977 Le Mans 24 hours. Entered and raced by Bernard
Decure with the experienced Jean-Luc Therier it ran
wide wheel arches and 6 headlamps ( see Flickr photos ).
After running in last place the brave effort retired after 16 hours racing. The car DNQ for the 1978 event.
The potential for the Alpine to go GT racing was there as
the company had built Group 5 homologated Rally cars
the larger 2849cc 290 BHP engines. Guy Frequelin won
the 1977 French Championship but by then Alpine had
bigger things to do as they entered Formula One with
the first ever turbocharged car.
ALPINE -RENAULT A610 TURBO / GTA
( Raced in 1995 , 96 BPR Endurance GT ,
1994 Le Mans 24 hours )
ENGINE : Renault V6 3000cc Cylinders
TOP SPEED :
Alpine-Renault had won the Le Mans 24 hours outright
back in 1978 with a prototype and the Alpine name
returned in 1994 with a GT entry. Soliete LEGEAY
Sports Mecanique qualified their A610 a respectable
34th with a sub 4 and a half minute lap ahead of 5
Venturies , 3 Porsches , 2 Vipers and 3 Esprits. Roy ,
Galmard and Police brought the car home in 13th , 5th
in class some 35 laps behind the class winning Labre
Porsche in 8th.
This Legeay car made 3 appearences in French BPR
rounds : 1995 Paris 1000kms ( retired ) , Nogaro 4
hours ( 20th ) and in 1996 Paul Ricard 4 hours
( retired ) , Castagne driving at all three events.
RENAULT CLIO V6 SPORT
( Raced in British GT )
ENGINE : PRV-group mid-mounted V6 cylinders 2946 cc
POWER : 227 BHP ( Phase 1 ) , 252 BHP ( Phase 2 )
TOP SPEED :
WEIGHT : 1475 KGS ( Road car )
PRODUCTION : 2001-05
UK PRICE : $ 27,000 ( road )
This big selling hatchback had a high performance limited run called the V6 Sport which briefly made it the worlds most powerful hot hatch. The rear seats were removed and a V6 usually found in the bigger Peugeots was put in their place .Thus the usually modest Clio could claim to be a 2-seater V6 mid
engined performance car. The extra weight however used to brace the car made it quite heavy for such a small car.
Atlanta Motorsport raced one phase 1 version at 7 rounds of the 2003 British GT series , including the Spa 1000kms and 1 in 2004. The car ran in the lower GT Cup class but still faced stiff opposition from Porsche , Ferrari , Morgan , Marcos , Lotus. It wasnt the only hatchback though as it diced with
the Steve Wood VW Golf Turbo car. The Clio made 5 finishes , the best
being 12th overall ( 5th in class ) on its debut at Donington. It did place 4th
in class ( 21st overall ) when the series raced at Spa for the 1000kms race.
The Golf qualified 8 1/2 seconds faster but the reliability of the Clio got it
to the finish as most of the Cup class including the Golf retired.
The Atlanta Clio V6 of Adam Sharpe and Enzo Mucci ready for their British GT debut , at Donington April 2003