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Une certaine légende de

La Course Automobile des 50'ies aux 70'ies
 1010  The Pythagorde Theorem : R1134+1=R1135 Histoire
Posté le 2008-08-16 21:00:00 par Guy

  I apologize for my poor english, however I hope you will enjoy

We had left the R8 Gordini R1134 after a great victory in the 1965 Corsica Tour.

This performance ended the first complete year in competition of the R1134 which so confirmed the sport vocation for which she was planned.

Naturally she has not reached her current reputation yet but her popularity is already undeniable. Groups of Gordes rubbing their fenders marked the minds.

1966 is a key year in the career of the R8 Gordini: Renault consolidated in its choices prepares a second more powerful car and a group of journalists are going to create the event which was going to give all her brightness to this precious car.

History is going on ...




At the beginning of this year the french car racing continues its metamorphosis.
Since the post-war years, the car racing is an English-Italian-German affair, but the french ambitions carried by Alpine and Matra is clearly shown: win ahead the best.
For the moment it is only about F3 or performance rating victories but as well as both at the manufacturers and at the economic concerned actors the means are implemented to reach one's aim.

Founding of the Renault 8 Gordini National Cup

In this healthy competition the journalists are not in arrears and go to lay their foundation stone.
From autumn 1965, editorial staffs of Moteurs and Action Automobile suggest creating a special championship reserved for young amateur pilots being in confrontation with identical cars, in this particular case R8 Gordini. The initiative meets an immediate success: the demands of participation stream very quickly.
The rules are fastly promulgated and from January the project is on rails. The R8 Gordini National Cup was born.
The competition will take place on all the fronts: 12 events on circuits, 27 rallies, 17 hill climb races. Every event will be affected by a coefficient in a range from 5 to 30; 30 being reserved for the races on circuits of Pau, Reims, Rouen, Montlhéry, Le Mans and Albi.
To protect the frame of the Gordini Cup a list of already confirmed pilots and thus not admitted is established. We find there among others : Ballot Léna, Chasseuil, Greder, Hanrioud, Jaussaud, Larousse, Ligier, Neyret, Nicolas father and son, Pescarolo, Piot, Rosinsky, Schlesser, Servoz Gavin, Vinatier.
Furthermore to protect the least fortunate pilots who can participate only in some events the count of results by coefficient will be limited. (On average from 3 to 6 as the pilot license is national or international)
There will be a regional league ranking which will select the best for the great finale on the circuit Bugatti of Le Mans and an overall ranking any leagues merged to reward the steadiness. There will be so 2 titles set into play.
The car will be the R1134 for this season 1966. Helmet is mandatory, safety belt is advaisable… ( Article 10 - annex 4 ... yes, yes, it's the true )

Monte Carlo Rally. Bis repetita ...


While the Gordini Cup takes place, the season begins with the traditional Monte Carl '. As often the rules makes debate. If the promoters reduced difficulties in the concentration stage (3000 km well realy!) to protect the amateurs, they besides applied coefficients of performance appropriated to discourage the most motivated. Grand Tourism cars and especially those of the group 2 have to achieve performances 18 % greater than the group 1 otherwise they will be penalized!
For all that the Régie Renault wants to erase the fiasco of the previous event. The "already oldies" Vinatier and Janson are assisted by a resolute rookie Jean-François Piot. This last one realizes good performances in Chartreuse before giving up on accident in the common stage. Near the last night, Janson is 6th in the real time ranking but by taking into account the famous coefficient he is really only 34th and Vinatier even farther.

Unfortunately, the Turini night will be fatal: gear box blocked for Vinatier and accident for Janson. It is still a disaster.

The race is won by Toïvonen on DS 21, after the relegation of 3 Cooper S because of a lighting system slightly different from that equipping the standard car. An irrevocable decision being stored in the pantheon of the inequitable penalties.

What about the cousin from Dieppe, how does she do ?...

- Fine, thank you.
She goes even better and better: victories in Neige et Glace and especially in Lyon-Charbonnières with Jean-Pierre Hanrioud on Alpine A110 on 1300 (exactly the 1108 cm3 Gordini prepared by Mignotet to reach the famous 1296 cm3 ).

During this time the Régie Renault fights with its R1134 and the courage of young pilots. Vinatier gone over temporarily to Alpine, J.F. Piot becomes the team leader and confirms the talents glimpsed in Monte Carl' by winning a victory in the Group 2 and the 3rd place of the overall ranking in Lyon-Charbonnières. Jean-Claude Andruet also finished at the 8th position.

The victories of class or in overall ranking in some secondary rallies are only returning the release of the R8 Gordini R1135 more and more urgent. The competition of Fiat Abarth 1000 and other NSU TT becomes too strong for the R1134.

Gordini Cup. Here we go !

After the Limousin Rally on 27th Mars two pilots get free. Lagier in the western league which counts 295 points and Andruet of the Ile-de-France who counts 245. The third all merged leagues counts only 100.
But the most important is going to begin on 16th April with the 1st event with coefficient 30 on the circuit of Pau.
In this occasion, new pilots who specially prepared their car for the races on circuit, are going to take up the top of the overall ranking sheet : 1st Mieusset, 2nd Jabouille, 3rd Landereau

On 1st May in Magny-Cours Dayan wins the first session while Lagier wins the second.

On 15th Mai at the Grand Prix of Paris in Monthléry the podium is : 1st Dayan , 2nd Jabouille and 3rd Mieusset.

After only 3 races on circuit the hierarchy is upside down. Excepted Lagier who is able to win on any field, the track specialists take the power: 1st ex æquo Dayan and Jabouille 600 pts, 3rd Lagier 535 pts, 4th Mieusset 480 pts, 5th Morisseau 430 pts. Andruet stayed behind with 275 pts.
Different winners, big fights in any event : the bet is already won.

R8 Gordini R1135. Here she is, at last !

Gordinists dreamed about it. Renault did it !
In this nice July the Régie Renault release the R8 Gordini R1135.
The R1134's big sister, when you look at it she's only different by 4 headlights on the front mask and wider rims.
Actually, you have to look at under hoods.
At the front we can see an added fuel tank of 26 litres and at the rear Weber carburetors replace Solex carburators.
But it is in the bowels where is the best : the cubic capacity of the engine reach 1255 cm3 which is able to produce 110 ch SAE at 6750 tr/mn, an engine which is joined whith a five-speed gearbox. Braking and suspension keep unchanged.

But the whole of performances are improved and it is the most important for pilots who have never powerful enough.
At last, braking we dont'care, we lost time with braking, isn't it?...
The rivals are warned : Gordini is back in the race !!!

Gordini Cup: first tragedy and first scandal

A race, even harmless, is a risky activity where everything can happen, even the worse. R8 Gordini Cup don't escape this rule.
On 2nd July on the circuit of Gueux, Daniel Belot died in the qualifying session.



The tempo of the events is more and more sustained : 5th June La Châtre, 26th June Charade, 3rd July Reims and 10th July Rouen. In this last event a lot of pilots scratch : many of them can't participate at all the events.
These are the same pilots who take the lead : Dayan wins 1st session at La Châtre and Jabouille the 2nd place (as usual ... ) in the 2nd session.
At the end of June Andruet wins two events in the row in Charade and Reims, this last one being ended by really big fight where Dayan is passed just before the finishing line.
In Rouen, Andruet and Dayan are always ahead but it's à third thief, Ficot, who wins the race.
But at the end of the race the organization staff decide to check the first four pilots's cars : Ficot, Dayan, Andruet et Thérier .
No problem for Dayan and Thérier, on the other hand it does not need much time to discover the cheating trickery of Andruet and Ficot. For Andruet three reasons are indentified : cylinder head height less than 72,5 mm, burnishing of admission and exhaust pipes, valve tappet chamfered. Experts would appreciate. For Ficot, « there was only » burnishing of pipes. Andruet and Ficot are immediatly disqualifyed and the new ranking become : 1st Dayan, 2nd Thérier, 3rd Mieusset.
But the final sanction will be sterner because Andruet and Ficot are striked out the Gordini Cup according to the rules of the championship. No pardon, even for a pilot like Andruet who is already considered like a famous one. The credibility of the competition and the organization staff must be protected. It have been done.
At overall ranking, all ligues merged, Dayan leads easely with 1330 pts. Then follow Lagier 865 pts, Jabouille 680 pts, Mieusset 660 pts et Morisseau 610 pts.
These pilots have the final in view.

Régie Renault goes all out

From the beginning of July with the ageing R1134 Renault goes to the 24 Heures de Spa-Francorchamps with 4 cars and carries off the King's Cup. But you already know that.

But the release of the R1135 offers to the Renault race department a more dangerous new weapon. The dynamic Jacques Féret is going to bring it into action on every strategic event.
The Coupe des Alpes, postponed from July to September, is one of thess important events. Similar to the Monte Carl’, the competitors have to cover 3900 km from Marseille to Cannes by Aix les Bains included 1350 km of timed stages and 11 hill climb races. What a program !!!….
Régie Renault goes all out with 8 cars at the start (1100, 1300 and even 1440 cm3 with aluminium body). The pilots : Vinatier, Andruet, Jansson, Toivonen, Nicolas, Mieusset, Orsini et Piot. The assistance team is also plethoric : Estafette, R16 and R8 Gordini for 50 assistance areas. Féret has anticipated the more he could, and it is necessary regarding the concurrence. All big teams are there : Ford, BMC, Porsche, Alfa, Alpine, Saab, Lancia et Citroën.
As often, it's a knock-out race : 81 starters only 22 arrivals for 19 classed. Winners are Rolland-Augias on Alfa-Roméo. At Renault the best result is for Piot-Jacob with the experimental 1440 who finish 4th and win the prototype class. The only other finishing R8 Gordini is the one Nicolas-Roure, 8th. For the others we can say : Orsini don't leave the started park in Marseille, Toivonen accident, Vinatier too, Jansson power cut, broken steering pour Mieusset and broken transmission for Andruet. Nothing exceptionnal for a rally ...
One the first R1135 victory almost escape notice because it takes place abroad, it is the one of the excellent corsican Orsini who wins the Rally of Sardinia.
La R1135 comes up to everybody's exceptations. It just lacks a great victory to conclude this year 1966.

R8 Gordini National Cup final

The end of the championship is near and the last events of Monthléry (11th September) Le Mans (17th September) and Albi (25 Septembre) confirm the hierarchy.

The great winner of the "Premier pas Dunlop Automobile" rewarding the first of the overall ranking of the year is Denis Dayan with 1770 pts. He comes before Lagier (1285 pts), Mieusset (1260 pts), Jabouille (950) et Morisseau (820 pts).
But the final is near and it will take place as planned on 2nd October in Le Mans. The final race is exacting compared at the previous events : 2 session of 160 km which means 3 hours of racing at full rating.
First session is run under a heavy rain. Mieusset and Lagier show a big fight and finish in this order followed by Dayan, Thérier and Marchesi.
The 2nd session seems to confirm the first one until the moment when engines begin to breathe one's last. Lagier having the lap record and leading the race see his engine blow up in a trail of smoke. Dayan attacks Mieusset but piles up four straight-on. In spite of this, he gains the 3rd place destinated for Marchesi at one lap to go but his gearbox explode !
Mieusset is the great winner of this final with a victory in each session. He is adapted oneself to 3 hours of racing better than the others and at the same time being able to contain Lagier's fire and take advantage of Dayan's state of nerves.
Amédée Gordini himself gives out the awards to the winners Dayan and Mieusset but also the keys of two brand new R8 Gordini R1135.
So lucky men !!!...

Corsica Tour. Be careful, private game !

At the beginning of November it only remains two main events to run : Corsica Tour and the Critérium des Cévennes. There is hurry for the R1135 to get a major victory and take shape to all hopes.
But slowly anf surely the choices of the Régie Renault begin to change and if 7 cars are on the starting line, there are only two R8 Gordini for Piot and Jansson "against" 5 Alpine for great drivers as Vinatier, Orsini, Santonnaci, Delageneste et Mauro Bianchi.
About the concurrence, except BMC and Ford more interested by the RAC all the big teams are there. Moreover the rules are getting simple and we are near a real time ranking like we know now. No coefficient no rating. 60 km/h of average speed for the link sections, 70 km/h for time sections whatever the car and penalties if you go faster or slower than the average speed. Yes, that is the rally, you have to be able to don't go too fast ... So, easy as pie.
The task looks like being difficult even unachievable for Piot and Jansson. However ...
80 cars are on the starting line of the first stage Bastia-Ajaccio. From the first section only 20 cars didn't get penalties. Then the slaughter begins going down to the Corsica Cap : withdrawal from Delageneste (fuel admission blocked up !...) and from Santonnaci brothers (broken transmission); 2 Alpine KO !
However the big difficulties are just began with the SS of Col de Vergio. Cella on Lancia is the fasteest An other Alpine gives up the one of Vinatier : all headlights broken by a clumsy clot + screen wipers out of service + rain = accident. QED.
At the start of the second time section the Mauro Bianchi's Alpine die the Jansson's R8 Gordini stops, oil pressure zero ...
Under a heavy rain 57 cars arrive to Ajaccio end of the first stage. Orsini is the leader, then Piot and Rolland (Alfa GTA).
Second stage and no more 45 cars after the analyzis of the logbooks and application of the disqualifying delaies ( 1h30 of penalties ). The last Alpine of the Regie Renault retire : broken transmission. At the half of the race, there is only one official Renault left, The Piot-Jacob's R8 Gordini !
Until the end there will be a big fight between J.F. Piot and Alain Rolland. A wire of starter wich wanted its freedom, gives a last fear to J.F. Piot at just few kilometers of the finishing line.
But the victory is here at last. Piot-Jacob and their R8 Gordini have been all beyond question the fastest and come before Rolland (Alfa GTA), Elford (Porsche 911), Consten (Alfa GTA), Greder (Ford Cortina Lotus), Guichet (Alfa GTA) et Verrier (DS 21).

A victory against such good cars and such great pilots, Mister Piot : well done !...

Roll on next year

1966 is a great vintage for the R8 Gordini.

The Gordini Cup has been a big success. The 67 Cup is already being prepared : of course the R1135 is the regular car and there only will be events on circuits.

The R1135 has won one's pedigree and becomes the referring popular sport car .

There is just a fly in the ointment, the carrer at the top level seems blocked. Except some particular events like the Corsica Tour, the encounters against the Alpine are often gained by them. Next seasons will confirm this domination.

But may be you already know that. We will bring together this R8 Gordini driven by clever amateurs or ageing professionals and which is going on to surprise us.

Les victoires se ramasseront à la pelle !!! - Tu vois je n'ai pas oublié, en ce temps là la vie était plus belle ... Yves Montand get out from this body !!!

Texts : Guy PAWLAK - Sources : L'Automobile Magazine, Sport Auto, Moteurs - nostalguy@r8gordini.com