Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh, better known as Prince Bira of Siam or by his nom de course B. Bira, was a member of the Thai royal family, racing driver and pilot. Birabongse raced in Formula One and Grand Prix races for the Maserati and Connaught teams, he was the only Southeast Asian driver to compete in Formula One until Malaysia's Alex Yoong joined Minardi in 2001, as well as the only Thai driver to compete in Formula One until Alexander Albon made his debut in 2019. He competed in sailing events at four Summer Olympic Games, flew from London to Bangkok in his own twin-engine Miles Gemini aircraft in 1952. Prince Birabongse's parents were his second wife. Birabongse's paternal grandfather was King Mongkut, loosely portrayed in the Hollywood movies The King and I and Anna and the King, his mother died. Birabongse was sent to Europe in 1927 to complete his education in England at Eton College, where he joined one of his nephews, a grandchild of his father through his first marriage. While he was at Eton Bira's father died, leaving him an orphan.
He was placed under the care of his cousin, Prince Chula Chakrabongse, who became Prince Bira's legal guardian. On leaving Eton at age 18, in early 1933, Prince Bira moved in with Prince Chula in London, while he decided on his future. Prince Birabongse had been registered to attend Trinity College, but on leaving school had not yet passed the Cambridge University entrance examination. Prince Chula hired a tutor for Prince Bira, to better prepare him for the exam, but Prince Bira changed his mind and expressed a desire to learn sculpture rather than attend university. Prince Chula approached leading sculptor Charles Wheeler, Wheeler took Prince Bira on as a pupil within his studio. Although Prince Bira showed some talent as a sculptor, in Wheeler's opinion he needed to learn to draw, so in the autumn of 1934 Prince Bira enrolled at the Byam Shaw School of Art. Prince Birabongse did not attend the Byam Shaw School for long, but while there he became friendly with a fellow student, Ceril Heycock, he began courting her in earnest only a few weeks later.
However, both Prince Chula and her parents placed severe limitations on their relationship, it was not until 1938 that they were able to marry. Bira first raced with his cousin Prince Chula's team, White Mouse Racing, driving a Riley Imp at Brooklands in 1935. In this car Bira established the national motor racing colours of Siam: pale blue with yellow, he lived near Geneva, in the south of France. In 1935, Prince Chula gave him one of the new ERA voiturette racing cars—R2B, nicknamed Romulus. Bira finished second in his first race in Romulus, despite needing to stop for repairs; the remaining races of the season saw Bira placing among the more powerful Grand Prix vehicles, with another second place, fifth at the Donington Grand Prix. For 1936 the princes decided that the previous season's results merited a second ERA, they retained Romulus for international races. Chula purchased a Maserati 8CM to complete the White Mouse roster. Bira's expertise behind the wheel earned him the Coupe de Prince Rainier at Monte Carlo.
Bira won a further four races in the ERAs that season, took the Grand Prix Maserati to 5th at Donington and 3rd at Brooklands. This was the high point for the White Mouse team. Following Dick Seaman's move to Mercedes for 1937, the Thais purchased his Grand Prix Delage and all of its spare parts, along with a second Delage. Despite several upgrades, hiring experienced race engineer and future Jaguar team manager Lofty England, the cars underperformed, on many occasions Bira raced in the older and by now inferior ERAs. In addition, the money spent on the Delage upgrades had sapped the resources of the team and corners were being cut in the ERA's race preparations. In the year White Mouse did invest in a newer C-Type ERA, chassis R12C. R12C came to be known as Hanuman, Bira attached a large, silver badge depicting the Hindu deity after whom he had named the car. Following a major accident in 1939 Hanuman was rebuilt back to B-Type specifications, in light of this major overhaul Bira renamed the car Hanuman II.
While Bira maintained a respectable results tally in British events, the more costly international races were a disaster. After the war, Bira returned to racing with several teams. In 1951 he raced in an old 4CLT fitted with a newer V12 Osca engine. No results were obtained this year as a result of the poor performance of the car combined with a severe accident. By 1954, with some newer gear, a Maserati 250F, he won the Grand Prix des Frontières on the Chimay road circuit and finished fourth in the 1954 French Grand Prix with his own Maserati. In January 1955, he won the New Zealand Grand Prix at Ardmore. Bira competed in sailing events at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics in the Star, 1960 Rome Olympics in the Star, 1964 Tokyo Olympics in the Dragon and the 1972 Munich Olympics in the Tempest. In the 1960 Games he competed against another former Formula One driver, Roberto Mieres, who finished seventeenth, ahead of the prince at nineteenth. Prince Bira died at Barons Court tube station in London on 23 December 1985.
He collapsed and died having suffered a major heart attack, but as he carried no identification with him, his body could not be identified. A handwritten note was found in his pocket by the Metropolitan Police and was sent for analysis at the Universi
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
In motorsport the pole position is the position at the inside of the front row at the start of a racing event. This position is given to the vehicle and driver with the best qualifying time in the trials before the race; this number-one qualifying driver is referred to as the pole sitter. Grid position is determined by a qualifying session prior to the race, where race participants compete to ascend to the number 1 grid slot, the driver, pilot, or rider having recorded fastest qualification time awarded the advantage of the number 1 grid slot ahead of all other vehicles for the start of the race; the fastest qualifier was not the designated pole-sitter. Different sanctioning bodies in motor sport employ different qualifying formats in designating who starts from pole position. A starting grid is derived either by current rank in the championship, or based on finishing position of a previous race. In important events where multiple qualification attempts spanned several days, the qualification result was segmented or staggered, by which session a driver qualified, or by which particular day a driver set his qualification time, only drivers having qualified on the initial day eligible for pole position.
In a phenomenon known as race rigging, where race promoters or sanctioning bodies invert their starting grid for the purpose of entertainment value, the slowest qualifier would be designated as pole-sitter. In contrast to contemporary motorsport, where only a race participant is designated pole-sitter, prior to World War II, the pace car was designated as official pole-sitter for the Indianapolis 500; the term has its origins in horse racing, in which the fastest qualifying horse would be placed on the inside part of the course, next to the pole. In Grand Prix racing, grid positions, including pole, were determined by lottery among the drivers. Prior to the inception of the Formula One World Championship, the first instance of grid positions being determined by qualifying times was at the 1933 Monaco Grand Prix. Since the FIA have introduced many different qualifying systems to Formula One. From the long-standing system of one session on each of Friday and Saturday, to the current knockout-style qualifying leaving 10 out of 20 drivers to battle for pole, there have been many changes to qualifying systems.
Between 1996 and 2006, the FIA made 6 significant changes to the qualifying procedure, each with the intention of making the battle for pole more interesting to viewers at home. Traditionally, pole was always occupied by the fastest driver due to low-fuel qualifying; the race-fuel qualifying era between 2003 and 2009 changed this. Despite the changing formats, drivers attempting pole were required between 2003 and 2009 to do qualifying laps with the fuel they would use to start the race the next day. An underfuelled slower car and driver would therefore be able to take pole ahead of a better but heavier-fueled car. In this situation, pole was not always advantageous to have in the race as the under-fueled driver would have to pit for more fuel before their rivals. With the race refueling ban introduced, low-fuel qualifying returned and these strategy decisions are no longer in play; when Formula One enforced the 107% rule between 1996 and 2002, a driver's pole time might affect slower cars posting times for qualifying, as cars that could not get within 107% of the pole time were not allowed start the race unless the stewards decided otherwise.
Since the reintroduction of the rule in 2011, this only applies to the quickest first session time, not the pole time. From 2014 to 2017, the FIA awarded a trophy to the driver who won the most pole positions in a season without sponsorship. From 2018, the FIA Pole Trophy has been renamed the Pirelli Pole Position Award, with the polesitter at each race winning a Pirelli wind tunnel tyre with the name of the polesitter and their time; the driver with the most pole positions at the end of the season wins a full-size engraved Formula 1 tyre. indicates that the driver won the World Championship in the same season. IndyCar uses four formats for qualifying: one for most oval tracks, one for Iowa Speedway, one for the Indianapolis 500, another for road and street circuits. Oval qualifying is like the Indianapolis 500, with two laps, instead of four, averaged together with one attempt, although with just one session. At Iowa, each car takes one qualifying lap, the top six cars advance to the feature race for the pole position.
Positions from 7th onward are assigned to their races, based on time, with cars in the odd-numbered finishing order starting in one race, cars in the even-numbered finishing order starting in the second race. The finishing order for the odd-numbered race starts on the inside, starting in Row 6, even-numbered race on the outside based on finishing position, again from Row 6, except for the top two in each race, which start in the inside and outside of the race for the pole position; the result of the feature race determines positions 1–10. All three races are 50 laps. On road and street courses, cars are drawn randomly into two qualifying groups. After each group has one twenty-minute session, the top six cars from each group qualify for a second session; the cars that finished seventh or worse are lined up by their times, with the best of these times starting 13th. The twelve remaining cars run a 15-minute session, after which the top six cars move on to a final 10-minute session to determine positions one through six on the grid.
The Iowa format was instituted in 2012 with major modifications (times set based on open qualifying session in second pract
Philippe Étancelin was a French Grand Prix motor racing driver who joined the new Formula One circuit at its inception. Born in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, in Normandy, he worked as a merchant in the winter and raced cars during the summer, his wife, served as his crew chief. Their three children were placed in a school in Rouen while she traveled with her husband to races around the world, she communicated with Étancelin through French sign language. Suzanne told a reporter Étancelin bought a racing car to celebrate the birth of their second child, Jeanne Alice, he did not intend to race the car but use it for pleasure driving around the countryside. The couple once drove it up to a speed of 125 mph. After two years of recreational motoring, Étancelin decided to enter a race, he began entering local events and hillclimbs. His first victory was the Grand Prix de la Marne at Reims in 1927, the same year he recorded a third at the Coppa Florio in Saint-Brieuc, he repeated his victory at Reims in 1929, ahead of Zenelli and friend Marcel Lehoux, making a Bugatti sweep of the podium.
Étancelin took a victory at the Antibes Prix de Conseil General. Nicknamed "Phi Phi", Étancelin earned Bugatti a win at the 1930 Algerian Grand Prix, followed home by Lehoux. At the Formula Libre French Grand Prix, he defeated Henry Birkin's Bentley, won the Grenoble Circuit de Dauphine, with a third at Lyons, he began the 1931 season in a Bugatti, placing behind Czaykowski at the Casablanca Grand Prix at Anfa. He won the Circuit d'Esterel Plage at Saint-Raphaël. For major events, run to Formula Libre rules to a 10-hour duration, he shared with Lehoux, they dropped out of both the French Grands Prix. After Étancelin switched to Alfa in the year, he came fourth in the Marne Grand Prix and won the four-hour Dieppe Grand Prix, ahead of Czaykowski's Bugatti and Earl Howe's Delage, he added wins at the Comminges Grand Prix at St. Gaudens. While Étancelin was a top privateer, he was beaten by works teams in 1932, earning only one win, the Picardy Grand Prix at Peronne. In 1933, Étancelin's Alfa narrowly lost the 19th annual French Grand Prix following a "furious" contest with Giuseppe Campari's Maserati, losing the lead on the final lap of the 500 km event.
Étancelin won a second consecutive Picardy Grand Prix, over a "formidable" Raymond Sommer, placed second to an formidable Tazio Nuvolari at the Nîmes Grand Prix, with win over Jean-Pierre Wimille at the Marne Grand Prix. The new 750 kilogram formula brought the conquering Silver Arrows of Auto Union. Étancelin switched to a Maserati 8CM, earning second places at Casablanca and Nice, with a win at Dieppe. He shared an Alfa with Luigi Chinetti to win Le Mans.Étancelin's 1935 season was no better, with only a third at Tunis. He gave Rudolf Caracciola's Mercedes a tough fight at Monaco in the little 3.7 litre Maserati, but suffered brake fade and came fourth. Driving a Maserati for the Subalpina team, he had a spectacular accident at the Swiss Grand Prix in Bern, with his car upturned and in flames, but he did not suffer injuries. Entering one of the new 4.4 liter Maseratis in 1936, he was outmatched by the German entrants, suffering retirements in nearly every contest. He won only the Pau Grand Prix, and, "against modest opposition".
He negotiated the 100 laps in 3 hours 21 minutes 22 seconds. In October, Étancelin qualified 6th for the Vanderbilt Cup, run over 300 mi near Westbury, New York, after a 20 mi qualifier at Roosevelt Raceway in Long Island. By this time he had won the Marne Grand Prix three times, he stayed out of racing in 1937, returning in 1938 to share a new Talbot with Chinetti at LeMans, but did not score a win. For 1939, he put his Talbot third following Hermann Lang and Manfred von Brauchitsch home, he scored a fourth place at the French Grand Prix.Étancelin would enter the first motor race held in France postwar, failing to finish at the Bois de Boulogne in an Alfa. He was not able to obtain one of the scarce new racers until 1948, when he purchased a 4½ litre Talbot, put it second at the Albi Grand Prix, behind Luigi Villoresi in the Maserati, his 1949 season saw second places at the Marseilles Grand Prix, the European Grand Prix at Monza, Czechoslovakian Grand Prix at Brno. In addition, he won the Paris Grand Prix at Montlhéry.Étancelin participated in twelve World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 13 May 1950.
He scored a total of three championship points. His fifth place in the 1950 Italian Grand Prix made him the oldest driver to score championship points. In 1953, he ran third at the Rouen Grand Prix and at the 12 Hours of Casablanca, decided to retire; the government of France awarded him the Legion of Honour in recognition of his contribution to the sport of automobile racing that spanned four decades. Étancelin retained an interest in racing, making occasional appearances in historic racing through 1974. He died at Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1981. Major career wins: Algerian Grand Prix 1930 Grand Prix de la Baule 1929 Grand Prix du Comminges 1929, 1931 Dauphiné Circuit 1930, 1931 French Grand Prix 1930 Grand Prix de Dieppe 1931 Grand Prix de la Marne 1929, 1933 Pau Grand Prix 1930, 1936 Grand Prix de Picardie 1932, 1933 Grand Prix de Reims 1927, 1929 Circuit d'Esterel Plage 1931 24 hours of Le Mans 1934 (Races in bold indicate pole position.
Bristol Cars is a dormant manufacturer of hand-built luxury cars headquartered at Mychett Place, England. Bristol Cars Limited is a newly formed company, incorporated in 2011 after the original company fell into administration that same year and was dissolved by a court appointed administrator, after changing its name to BCL 2011 Ltd. After the Second World War, the car division of the Bristol Aeroplane Company was formed becoming Bristol Cars Limited. Bristol has only one sales showroom, on Kensington High Street in London; the company maintains an enthusiastic and loyal clientele. Bristol has always been a low-volume manufacturer; the company suspended manufacturing in March 2011, when administrators were appointed, 22 staff were made redundant at the factory in Filton and subsequently the company was dissolved. In April 2011, a new company was formed by the administrator to sell the original assets to Kamkorp. Since 2011, the company has been restoring and selling all models of the marque while a new model was being developed.
The company had revealed a desire to return to automotive production in 2018 with an all-new model, called the "Bullet" dubbed "Project Pinnacle". The car was first revealed to the public on 26 July 2016, homologation was set to have begun some time in 2018; the British aircraft industry suffered a dramatic loss of orders and great financial difficulties following the Armistice of 1918. To provide immediate employment for its considerable workforce, the Bristol Aeroplane Company undertook the manufacture of a light car, the construction of car bodies for Armstrong Siddeley and bus bodies for their sister company, Bristol Tramways. On the outbreak of World War II, Sir George Stanley White, managing director of the Bristol Aeroplane Company from 1911–1954, was determined not to suffer the same difficulties a second time; the company now employed 70,000 and he knew he must plan for the time when the voracious wartime demand for Bristol aircraft and aircraft engines would end. The company began working with AFN Ltd, makers of Frazer Nash cars and British importer of BMWs before the war, on plans for a joint venture in automotive manufacture.
As early as 1941, a number of papers were written or commissioned by George S. M. White, Sir Stanley's son, proposing a post-war car manufacturing division, it was decided to purchase an existing manufacturer for this purpose. Alvis, Aston Martin, Lagonda, ERA and Lea-Francis were considered. A chance discussion took place in May 1945, between D. A. Aldington, a director of Frazer Nash serving as an inspector for the wartime Ministry of Aircraft Production, Eric Storey, an assistant of George White at the Bristol Aeroplane Company, it led to the immediate take-over of Frazer Nash by the Aeroplane Company. Aldington and his two brothers had marketed the Frazer Nash BMW before the war, proposed to build an updated version after demobilisation; this seemed the perfect match for the aeroplane company's own ambitions to manufacture a high quality sports car. With the support of the War Reparations Board, H. J. Aldington travelled to Munich and purchased the rights to manufacture three BMW models and the 328 engine.
By July 1945, BAC had created a car division and bought a controlling stake in AFN. A factory was established near Bristol. George White and Reginald Verdon-Smith of the Aeroplane Company joined the new Frazer Nash Board, but in January 1947, soon after the first cars had been produced, differences between the Aldingtons and Bristol led to the resale of Frazer Nash; the Bristol Car Division became an independent entity. Bristol Cars was sold after its parent joined with other British aircraft companies in 1960 to create the British Aircraft Corporation, which became part of British Aerospace; the car division merged with Bristol Siddeley Engines, was marked for closure, but was bought in September 1960 by George S. M. White the chairman and effective founder. White retained the direction of the company, but sold a forty per cent shareholding to Tony Crook, a leading Bristol agent. Crook became sole distributor. In September 1969, only a month before the unveiling of the new Bristol 411 at the Earl's Court Motor Show, Sir George White suffered a serious accident in his Bristol 410.
The car was only superficially damaged. As time passed it became clear that he would never regain his health sufficiently to return to full-time work. To safeguard the future of his workforce, he decided in 1973 to sell his majority shareholding to Crook; as the ties with the White family were severed, British Aerospace requested the company to move its factory from Filton Aerodrome and it found new premises in nearby Patchway. The showroom on Kensington High Street became the head office, with Crook shuttling between the two in Bristol's light aircraft. Under Crook's direction the company produced at least six types, the names of which were borrowed from Bristol's distinguished aeronautical past: the Beaufighter, Blenheim and Brigand. In February 1997, Crook aged 77, sold a fifty per cent holding in Bristol Cars to Toby Silverton, with an option to take full control within four years. Silverton son-in-law of Joe Lewis of the Tavistock Group and son of Arthur Silverton of Overfinch, joined the board with his father.
Crook and Toby Silverton produced the Speedster, Bullet and 411 Series 6, though 2002 saw the transfer of Bristol Cars into the ownership of Silverton and the Tavistock Group, with Silverton in the chair and Crook remaining as m
Hersham and Walton Motors
Hersham and Walton Motors is the world's longest established Aston Martin business and is well known as a racing car constructor. As a constructor, it is best known for its involvement in Formula Two from 1950 to 1953 and Formula One in 1954; when HWM owners George Abecassis and John Heath went racing together from 1946 and in 1948 they built a streamlined sports racing car on the chassis of a Sports Alta, thus embarked upon the construction of racing cars and racing sports cars at their motor works in Walton-on-Thames, England. The 1948 car gave them encouraging results and so new car, this time called an HW-Alta, was constructed and raced in 1949. From 1950 to 1952, HWM achieved remarkable success in Formula Two for a team, run on little money and yet which faced the might of continental marques in every race. By 1953 they were outclassed, but when the international Formula changed in 1954, John Heath constructed a works car to compete in Formula One. HWM abandoned the new Formula One after two appearances as their car was outclassed.
Meanwhile, the first Jaguar-engined HWM sports racing car had appeared in 1953, this had some success with George Abecassis at the wheel. From on until 1957, the team was involved in sports car racing both in Britain and on the continent, sometimes beating their Jaguar and Aston Martin Works competitors. After John Heath was killed on the 1956 Mille Miglia in Italy in an HWM Works car, Abecassis did not wish to continue and the works racing programme continued for just a year. HWM is today owned by George Abecassis's business partner his family. HWM trades as HWM Aston Martin and HWM Sports Cars and is an Aston Martin and Sports Cars dealership. Www.hwm.co.uk www.hwmastonmartin.co.uk www.hwmalfaromeo.co.uk Abecassis, David. A Passion For Speed, the Life and Times of George Abecassis. Paul Skilleter Books. ISBN 978-0-9566857-0-4
Gordini is a division of Renault Sport Technologies. In the past, it was a sports car manufacturer and performance tuner, established in 1946 by Amédée Gordini, nicknamed "Le Sorcier". Gordini became a division of Renault in 1968 and of Renault Sport in 1976. Amédée Gordini competed in motor races since the 1930s, his results prompted Simca to develop road cars. Their association continued after World War II. In 1946, Gordini introduced the first cars bearing his name, Fiat-engined single-seaters raced by him and Jose Scaron, achieving several victories. In the late 1940s, the company opened a workshop at the Boulevard Victor in Paris, entering sports car and Grand Prix races. Gordini and Simca started to diverge in 1951 because of political conflicts. Gordini competed in Formula One from 1950 to 1956, although it achieved a major success in Formula Two during that period. After its Formula One program ended, Gordini worked with Renault as an engine tuner, entering Renault-Gordini cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 1962 and 1969.
It tuned engines for Alpine, a rival sports car manufacturer associated with Renault. In 1957, Gordini and Renault manufactured the Dauphine Gordini, a modified version of the Renault Dauphine, a sales success. Gordini-tuned Renault cars won various rallies during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1963, the Gordini company planned to move its headquarters to Noisy-le-Roi. At the end of 1968, Gordini sold a 70 % majority stake from his firm to Renault. Renault-Gordini was moved to Viry-Châtillon in 1969 and became a sport division of Renault, before being merged with Alpine to form Renault Sport in 1976. On 1 January 1976, René Vuaillat became director of Gordini; the Gordini company name became wholly owned by Renault in 1977. Renault sold Gordini-badged performance versions of models including the Renault 5, the Renault 8 the Renault 12 and the Renault 17. In November 2009, Renault announced that it would be reviving the Gordini name for an exclusive line of hot hatches, in a similar fashion to Fiat's revival of its Abarth name.
Modern models to bear the name include the Renault Clio. Dauphine Gordini Renault 8 Gordini Renault 12 Gordini Renault 17 Gordini Clio Gordini RS Twingo Gordini Twingo Gordini RS Wind Gordini Since its early Renault models the most characteristic colour scheme of Gordini cars has been bleu de France with white stripes, although different combinations have been used over the years