Motor-racing -- and Le Mans, France, Renault has won its first ever victory in the 24-hour endurance race which finished on Sunday (June 11).
GV Start of Le Mans 24-hour race (3 shots)
GV Car racing around bend
SV Car number three (Renault Alpine) rounding bend at speed and into straight followed by other cars
GV PAN Car under bridge PAN TO number 87 Ferrari 512 BB driven by Guerin
GV Cars racing at night PAN TO car number 5-Martini Porsche driven by Mass (finished second)
GV (next day) Cars racing down straight PAN TO car number 4-Renault Alpine driven by Rognoti
GV Car number 2 (the winner)-Renault Alpine driven by Jaussaud racing into bend.
GV Cars racing around bend
TV Cars racing down straight
SV PAN Car number rounding bend and down straight (2 shots)
TV Winner receives chequered flag at finish. Car surrounded by crowd
GV Spectators leaving stands and surrounding winning driver. Pironi on rostrum with champagne (4 shots)
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
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Background: Motor-racing -- and Le Mans, France, Renault has won its first ever victory in the 24-hour endurance race which finished on Sunday (June 11). Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud completed a faultless race, after a multi-million dollar investment by the French state-owned car firm.
SYNOPSIS: The french win ended Porsche's recent domination of the race and robbed belgium's Jacky Ickx of a history-making fifth victory in the event. Ickx finished second in a Porsche 936 Turbo, despite a brilliant drive in pursuit of the Renault. He had to abandon his original car after fuel injection problems, but the second car, too had difficulties with an ailing gearbox and finished five laps down from the winner.
Renault say they have spent something like five million U.S. dollars preparing for this year's 46th running of the world's most gruelling test of car and drives. Last year, their first major assault on the event failed as Jacky Ickx won for the second year running. But, this year, Renault cars took the lead from the start.
The French car firm emphasised their superiority by becoming the first team to cover more than 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometres) in the day and night race, that took place in the best conditions in recent years.
Renault said they would decide at the end of the year whether they will compete at Le Mans in 1979. However, despite this year's win, it is thought that they will concentrate on Formula One racing and rallies.
Not many spectators realized the winning Renault ran the last two hours, practically without a clutch. And though driver Didier Pironi suffered badly from heat exhaustion caused by the plastic `bubble' over the cockpit, he recovered for the traditional champagne.