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24h du Mans 2017 – Total Heroes12.06.2017

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1968  – ALPINE WINS THE THERMAL EFFICIENCY INDEX

While the world title went to the Ford GTs two French teams backed by Elf* created a sensation in the Sarthe: Matra, thanks to Henri Pescarolo’s heroic night-time drive without windscreen wipers in pouring rain, and Alpine, which placed three cars in the top 10 including the no. 52 A210 driven by Jean-Luc Thérier and Bernard Tramont that won the Thermal Efficiency Index.

1975 – TOTAL’S FIRST PODIUM

A year after its very first entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours in partnership with Guy Ligier’s team, Total scored its first podium finish with the second place of the no. 5 Ligier-JS2 Ford in the hands of Guy Chasseuil and Jean-Louis Lafosse. The latter repeated the same feat the following year with François Migault in the no. 10 Mirage GR8-Ford also in Total colours.

1978 – RENAULT ALPINE SCALES THE HEIGHTS!

In the context of its partnership with Renault, Elf* made an active contribution to the French manufacturer’s return to the forefront of the sporting scene in the 1970s through the development of a V6 engine. Renault won the 1978 Le Mans 24 Hours with the no. 2 Renault Alpine A442B driven by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Didier Pironi. The latter did a final double stint in a suffocating-hot cockpit and collapsed on the podium. He lost seven kilos in 24 hours, and was so determined to win that the shape of his fingers was encrusted on the steering wheel!

1980 – RONDEAU MAKES HISTORY

Jean Rondeau was born in Le Mans. He was a hard-charger behind the wheel who was frustrated because he was unable to find a good drive, so at the age of 30 he decided to build his own cars in a little workshop not far from the Le Mans circuit. When the project was launched in 1976 Total was one of his partners. On 15th June 1980 he clinched outright victory with Jean-Pierre Jaussaud as team-mate at the wheel of the no. 16 Rondeau M379-Ford. To date, Rondeau is the only driver to have won the Le Mans 24 Hours in a car he designed which bears his own name.

2009 – THE LION ROARS!

Peugeot made its comeback to endurance in 2007 with the 908 HDi FAP, and in partnership with Total, which designed specific lubricants, took up the technological challenge of building a V12 turbodiesel racing engine. After two encouraging podium finishes the Peugeot Sport Total team scored a superb double in 2009 with no. 9 (David Brabham-Marc Gené-Alexander Wurz) winning from no. 8 (Franck Montagny-Sébastien Bourdais-Stéphane Sarazzin). Their closest pursuer finished six laps in arrears!

2016 – ALPINE, A WINNING COMEBACK

Victory at Le Mans was a necessary step in the revival of the Alpine name in partnership with Elf.* Thirty-eight years after the Renault Alpine A442B’s win the Signatech Alpine team, the reigning European champion, won the hotly-contested LM P2 category and saw the flag in a superb fifth place overall. Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Stéphane Richelmi were handicapped by the wrong tyre choice early on in the race, but put on a stunning display of driving during the night to clinch first place in what was a really classy display.

A Total Group brand

12.06.2017