Despite its modest power rating, the Renault 5 Alpine Gr. 2 enjoyed supremacy in its category from 1978 to 1980, and even managed to shine through in the overall rally championship ranking.
In 1978, Renault Sport took a most audacious decision: following in the prestigious footsteps of the Alpine series, there would come a little car with a front-wheel drive! Jean Ragnotti got the scheme off to a great start, leading his category in the 1978 Monte Carlo Rally at the wheel of his Renault 5 Alpine Groupe 2, and finishing second overall. The winning series continued in 1979, with second place in the Tour de Corse. And in 1980, the Renaul 5t held its own admirably alongside competition to achieve a splendid conclusion to its sporting career.
With this car, Jean Ragnotti and team-mate Jean-Marc Andrié won the 1980 French rally championship, leading group 2 in almost all events, and making an excellent impression in the overall ranking, with third place in the Nice – Jean Behra Rally (with a power boost to 140 hp, and despite problems with the self-locking drive axle), second place in the Poland Rally, and overall first at Charbonnières, Lorraine and Mont Blanc. After going out in such grand style, this amazing little car stepped aside gracefully to make way for a future legend, the Renault 5 Turbo.
Source: Groupe Renault