1982 Renault 5


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French title
Registration: 80 VS 91

- Exceptional provenance
- Genuine factory car
- Restored by the Boszian brothers
- The car belonging to Jean Ragnotti

The Renault 5 Turbo of Jean Ragnotti : The last Group 4 Before Group B !
At Retromobile 2014, Artcurial presented the first R5 TURBO GROUP 4 driven by Jean Ragnotti in its spectacular Calberson livery … Three years later, we are delighted to present the last R5 TURBO factory Group 4 car, built by Renault Sport's rally division, before the arrival of the Group B cars!
What's more, it is Jean Ragnotti himself who is selling the car he drove in the 1982 Ivory Coast Rally...

The Factory Renault 5 Turbo Group 4

The Renault 5 Turbo was the brainchild of Jean Terramorsi, the vice-president of production at Renault in charge of small series. In 1977 he came up with a sporting evolution of the company's star car: the little Renault R5. For this creation, it was necessary to do more than upgrade the power and handling as on the R5 Alpine. Terramorsi decided it was necessary to build a genuine rally car that would benefit from Renault's pioneering technology - the turbocharger. In 1972, Bernard Dudot, the engineer for Alpine at Dieppe, had already installed this device on a 1600 engine to boost the power of an ultra-light Group 5 berlinetta, in a bid to compete with the CG MC coupés. The result was a car that was almost undriveable, but in the hands of a champion such as Thérier, it went on to win the Critérium des Cévennes and paved the way for the Renault 5 Turbo.
A turbocharged mid-positioned engine, reinforced chassis, special running gear, a body made from steel, fibreglass and aluminium, extravagant rear track in relation to the front: The R5 Turbo, presented to the press in 1978, wowed the crowds at the 79 Tour of Italy in the hands of Fréquelin who managed to give the Stratos and Porsche entries a run for their money before retiring.
In 1979, the modest Renault Sport division, responsible for the R5 Turbo rally programme led by engineers François Bernard (chassis engineer) and Michel Têtu, only had the Group 5 prototype, the famous " Black " R5, assembled from specific Renault and Alpine parts.
Gérard Larousse and his team had to wait for 400 examples of the production series to be built for homologation in Group 4 that would allow the R5 Turbo to compete in major international competitions. This was achieved by September 1980, just before the Tour of France. The engine specification for a Group 4 was the same as on the " Tour de Corse " version that appeared in 1983, but a little less powerful (approximately 260 bhp according to period reports in the press). Drivers considered the R5 Turbo competition car to offer the greatest drive, particularly the first model (Group 4) and the last (the Maxi 5). The intermediate " Tour de Corse " model was rather more delicate, according to rally driver Thérier. However, with complicated, F1-derived engineering, the Maxi 5 required a lot of assistance. The Group 4 Renault 5 Turbo is therefore the most accessible for racing drivers without the back-up enjoyed by Ragnotti, Thérier, Chatriot or Auriol!

The R5 Turbo of Jean Ragnotti in The 1982 Ivory Coast Rally
For the 1982 season, Jean Ragnotti's schedule racing a Group 4 R5 Turbo was relatively light: The Critérium Alpin, the Tour de Corse and the Ivory Coast Rally, known as the Bandama Rally. With his regular co-driver, Andrié, he achieved a stunning first place in Corsica, and came third in the Critérium Alpin. To finish the season, he decided to send two R5 Turbo rally cars to the Ivory Coast Rally. This was the 11th round of the 1982 World Championship, and like the Kenya Rally, the distance and the condition of the roads made this an extremely tough race, requiring serious preparation. Ragnotti and Andrié spent several weeks getting to know the route in Ivory Coast in September 1982, driving a spare R5 Turbo. The only problems they encountered were with the shock absorbers and air filter. The shell of the actual cars to be raced were strengthened with welded gussets, and a hefty lower guard.
This R5 Turbo was registered 80 VS 91, with series number VF1822000C0000009, was first registered on 8 April 1982. In reality, the car was probably only finished just before the race. It was raised, and handed over to the star team Ragnotti/Andrié. The rally started on 27 October, and Michèle Mouton quickly took the lead in an Audi Quattro, with Ragnotti on her heels from the start. By the end of the first stage, a broken gearbox was starting to slow Ragnotti, and he began the second stage in 4th position. Then, a late communication and … catastrophe! The car took off on a bump and landed heavily, causing it to leave the road. They were forced to retired, leaving Ragnotti with a sprained wrist and a damaged car. The steering had broken and the famous aluminium roof of the first series R5 Turbo had buckled. Bruno Saby, in the second R5 Turbo, finished the Bandama Rally in 4th place...a feat that he still finds astonishing, given the fiendish nature of the event ! However, it gave him a taste for African rallies, and he went on to compete in others, for Mitsubishi and Volkswagen.
The Renault R5 turbo " 80 VS 91 " went back to France and Renault Sport. In 1984, the car was offered to Jean Ragnotti by Patrick Landon, Renault Sport's Rally team manager. It was sent to the Bozian brothers, the renowned preparers and Renault Sport rally partners for the R5 Alpine Group 2 cars. The car remained in the Bozian's old factory workshop for several years. In 1994, Arthur and Jacky Bozian decided to restore it and present it to " Jeannot " for his 50th birthday.
The preparers took charge of the mechanical elements and the body was repaired by R5 Turbo specialist Daniel Loison and painted by the driver from Lyon, Del Fiacco. Patrick Landon supplied certain spare parts including a gearbox. The engine was rebuilt by the Bozian brothers. The original, reinforced Matter shell was given a new aluminium roof, and the car was given the Renault Sport livery it had for the Bandama Rally. The rally plates and team card, that had stayed with the damaged car, were re-used. The finished car was presented to Jean Ragnotti in 1995, for his 50th birthday, during a meal at Paul Bocuse !

Description of The Bandama 1982 R5 Turbo of Ragnotti/Andrié
This Renault 5 Turbo is a Group 4 factory model, which must not be confused with the " Cévennes " that was a competition-client car. We note here the specific features that are different to the series car :
Chausson heat exchanger
Large injection regulatlon system taken from a Porsche 928, with just four out of eight outlets used, with a large air filter on the left side
Specific turbocharger on the right side of the engine compartment, without waste gate (used when the pressure is too high), which is situated directly on the exhaust manifold, particular to this engine
Exhaust outlet on the right
Large alternator mounted above the gearbox
Dry sump with oil tank on right side, specific cam casing with chain-driven oil pump
Specific pedal box with double master cylinders as on single seaters
Carbon shock absorbers adjustable in height and hardness
Engine with Renault Sport N° 2672 plaque
German Matter reinforced shell

The Group 4 engine produced between 260 and 270 bhp. The Tour de Corse evolution was capable of 320 bhp, whereas the larger-engined " Maxi " version had 350 bhp and greater versatility.
This R5 Group 4 retained the original front wheel arches, restricting the track in comparison to the rear. This would be corrected on the " Group B " cars that followed at the start of 1983, that had a modified, wider front axle, to accommodate 16-inch wheels on the last examples. It must be noted that the gearbox offered by Landon is a 369.09 gearbox that probably came from a production R5 Turbo. It does not have limited slip differential or close ratio gears. To use the car in VHC historic racing, this should be replaced with a " rally " limited-slip gearbox. With factory competition cars it is always difficult to attribute with certainty the races and results of individual cars. In fact, official competition cars are often not stamped with a serial number, which is the case here. It is common for a race department to have cars without registration papers, as the administration required for road-going cars is not relevant. This has been confirmed by Patrick Landon. A 'carte grise' (French title) was given to a car, then, after an accident or use in competition, it was transferred to new shell that arrived from Matter, and on ... Thus it can be extremely difficult to be certain about which cars competed in which races. This was not the case with the R5 Turbo ex-Calberson sold by Artcurial in 2014, which had a special and unique history.
This Renault 5 turbo Group 4 ex 80 VS 91 is undoubtedly the car that took part in the Bandama Rally in 1982: its historical continuity is certain, and retained its livery until restoration. It also has specific bumper mountings front and back. These are further forward at the front and further back at the rear, probably to give greater clearance for the wheels. This mounting position can clearly be seen in films and photos of the Bandama rally.
It is exceptional for a genuine rally car to be sold by one of the most famous drivers in Renault Sport's history. This is the case with this R5 Turbo Group 4 car that took part in a round of the World Championship, driven by one of France's most popular drivers, Jean Ragnotti. In addition, the car has benefitted from a restoration carried out by Renault Sport's " in-house " team, the Bozian brothers. Here is an outstanding car that can be used in historic rallies such as the Tour de Corse, the Giraglia, the Tour de Sardinia and more.


Jean Ragnotti
Jean Ragnotti shares with Henri Pescarolo the enviable title of the most popular French racing driver. He has won the Tour de Corse and the Monte Carlo Rally, he is a Super Production French Champion and has taken part in the 24 Hour Race at le Mans seven times. In addition to these brilliant achievements accrued across the different disciplines of racing and rallying, Jean also has a warm and honest personality, full of joie de vivre.

I invite you to share a vivid memory of mine. It was before a race and the learned assembly of racing drivers were lunching together in a tent. No doubt aided by adrenalin, the ambiance was growing more boisterous. Suddenly, Jean emptied a bread basket and put it on his head topped with a plastic flower from the table. Then, - and I wonder which woman he got the lipstick from ? - smeared his lips in red and offered to embrace anyone brave enough to accept. I decided, there and then, to take bids for this formidable red and voluptuous kiss. It took no time for the assembled audience to realise they could pay in toy money, and the bids rolled in from both sexes. To much hilarity, Jean flaunted his expert method of embrace. I brought the hammer down at one million francs and our hero left his imprint on a cheek like an autograph.

And with his face still painted like a circus clown, the artiste went and won the race. And of course, performed his famous triple backflip on the rostrum.

This was a different time, before drivers could jump into Formula 1 through the console of a video game to risk their lives !

Hervé Poulain

PS : A correspondent for Artcurial, has told us that the car " following the Ivory Coast Rally stayed with the Bozian brothers for a very long time. […] this car was restored by Daniel Loison who knew Christian Pouchelon at Renault very well. " A good point of reference, as I was able to appreciate Christian's expertise during the 1973 Bandama Rally when he was responsible for the Renault team, managing the R17 of Piot, the Alpine of Jabouille and my R12 Gordini prepared at the factory by Hubert Melot...