A familiar face at the World Series by Renault, having long been a fixture of the Renault Classic Show, Jean Ragnotti is this weekend making his WSR return at the French round of motor racing’s Fast, Free & Fun series. Appearing in front of his home fans at Le Mans, the French rally legend was at the wheel of the New Mégane GT, taking the car for its maiden track outing following its unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Larger than life and ever popular, the man they call Jeannot shared his views on the car afterwards and recalled some of his favourite World Series by Renault memories at Le Mans.
“I drove the 24 Heures du Mans seven times and naturally they’re among my happiest memories of this track. Pironi and Jaussaud won the 1978 race for Renault in the Alpine A442B, while I finished fourth with Guy Fréquelin. The 24 Heures is a legendary race and it’s one of my favourites. I just love driving here at Le Mans. The atmosphere is amazing.
I’ve been fortunate enough this weekend to test drive the New Mégane GT at the Circuit du Bugatti. I did two fast laps in the standard version with ABS and ESP, but the balance of the car is excellent and it brakes nicely. We drove the sport version with the steering wheel-mounted paddles and it went well. This first outing with the New Mégane GT felt really good.
I remember the first year of the World Series by Renault. It was outstanding and the fans turned up in the kind of numbers that nobody really expected. I think we’ve given the World Series by Renault fans a lot of pleasure with the Renault Maxi 5 Turbo, what with the donuts and drifting round corners and, most importantly of all, getting so close to the spectators.
The story now continues with Renault Sport Technologies and Renault Classic too. I’ve done a lot of trips for them. I helped open up last weekend’s Rallye des Vosges with the Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R, and another favourite highlight of mine was attending the recent 60th Alpine anniversary celebrations. I’ve also taken part in quite a few events with Renault dealers and done a few shows with the Renault Maxi 5 Turbo. And next weekend we’ll be in Brittany.”