Renault Clio (1) Profile

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Renault Clio (1) General Information

This car is a lovely showcase how innovative Renault has been throughout rally history. Renault came up with the F2 Kit Car idea and the Renault Clio Maxi was the first true F2 kit car ever produced. It was the first car in groupA days with these exciting wide wings. Colin McRae was later quoted as "Against these F2 kit cars our A8 works cars look like mopeds!" And quite likely the World Rally Cars from 1997 until today look the way they do because of what Renault started with this Clio Maxi.

When it says F2 kit cars was a Renault idea: From the Lancia Delta in 1987 groupA or the A8 class had a problem. After Lancia domination new A8 class car development had to be rather extensive and expensive. Although there was no total lack of competition, many manufacturers found it difficult to create a car like this and at the same time found A8 cars were quite remote from road car reality, while still demanding 5000 base cars. To help making the events more interesting the FIA created a sub category for 2WD 2litre (non-turbo) cars that for all these 2's was soon nick named Formula 2. This category had its sub championship at World level from the start of 1993. Renault entered in the Clio 16s and Clio Williams, but soon felt competition was good and everybody has a 2L 2WD car in their showrooms, so why not make more of this and make these cars really exciting. This is what Renault suggested to the FIA. The result was exciting, noisy 2L 2WD cars with exciting, wide wings and spoilers. The FIA had the last word, but it indeed was a Renault idea. So note F2 as a championship started in 1993, but the wide body F2 kit cars idea was only invented later. The first kit cars arrived in the RAC Rally 1993 in form of the VW Golf and Nissan Sunny, the first kit car with a wider body we saw on the RAC 1994 in form of a FWD Escort Mk5 fitted with Escort Cosworth wings, but the first kit car in the true sense, taking the wide wings idea to the max with an extra designed body kit and according wider track was this Renault Clio Maxi debuting on the Rallye Monte Carlo 1995! It really kicked off a trend at this moment. While some kit car tweaks were possible before, the really wide and brutal looks were new and followed up by Skoda Felica KC, Seat Ibiza KC and most notable Peugeot 306 Maxi already within the next half year.

But despite all this, the main program for the Clio was the French Championship. At WRC level these cars mainly appeared only on Monte Carlo and Tour de Corse. Maybe Renault thought on the Monte they could repeat the giant killing act of the R5 Alpine in 1978. This idea however bitterly failed in the 4x4 age on the icy Monte.

The main drivers were Jean Ragnotti and Alain Oreille. However during the season Philippe Bugalski joined the duo in France. Bugalski drove an experimental Clio Maxi with a hydraulic operated gearshift. Many such things have been tried by different teams, but it was the Renault way that worked and was the most efficient. What Philippe Bugalski used in his "prototype" 39 BBV 91 was the first sequential gearbox that now is so common in rally cars. It seems incredible to think today that all those groupB cars still had H-pattern gearboxes. But indeed the sequential gearboxes as we know them now debuted in this Renault Clio Maxi, the same car that launched the F2 kit car era.

Unfortunately we also have to report that Philippe Bugalski's Clio career got off to a bad start. On a French Championship round in a Clio Maxi (however NOT in the sequential prototype) he had such an unlucky crash hitting a tree that his navigator died on the spot. This navigator had an interesting name for the brand's marketing: Thierry Renaud in a Renault, get it?

Renault Clio (1) Related Content

Renault Clio (1) Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Renault Clio (1) Maxi (95-98) 255/8400 247/5800 3728.1741.1500 960 (3.8) FWD (2472)

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Renault Clio (1) Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
7th. 1995 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo J. Ragnotti G. Thimonier #14 [UNKNOWN] 7:04:26
9th. 1995 WRC Tour de Corse P. Bugalski J. Chiaroni #21 [UNKNOWN] 5:20:25
11th. 1995 WRC Tour de Corse J. Ragnotti G. Thimonier #17 [UNKNOWN] 5:27:15
10th. 1995 WRC Rally of Great Britain A. Oreille J. Boyère #19 [UNKNOWN] 5:50:40
15th. 1995 WRC Rally of Great Britain R. Head T. Harryman #25 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Renault Clio (1) Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1998 WRC Rallye San Remo K. Princen E. Genten #80 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1995 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo P. Bugalski T. Renaud #15 [UNKNOWN] SS16 crash