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Paul Ricard

The World Series by Renault meeting was a huge popular success thanks to a crowd of 70 000 people and the presence some of the big names in French motor sport who turned up at Paul Ricard. Alain Prost, Romain Grosjean, Jérôme d’Ambrosio, Jean-Eric Vergne, Jean Ragnotti, star of the Renault Classic Show, as well as Philippe Saint-André, coach of the French rugby team, and Maxime Mermoz, one of his top players, all put in appearances.

Alain Prost got into the Red Bull RB6, the 2010 world championship winning car. It was the 4-time French World Champion’s first taste of a modern F1 since 1996!

Young and old alike asked him for autographs and he had a horde of journalists at his heels for his return to the cockpit of an F1 car, so he was the centre of attraction over the weekend at the Le Castellet circuit.

Prost again said how much he liked the idea behind the World Series by Renault: “What Renault does for the public is fantastic with this permanent show on the track; and also for young drivers through all the promotional formulas that help them move up to the top categories.”

Romain Grosjean, who was on the circuit with the Professor, was at the wheel of the Renault R30 and was very happy to live this childhood dream. “He’s the greatest French driver, driving with him is incredible,” laughed the former Formula Renault 2.0 ace (2005, pictured).

Jean-Eric Vergne, who was there on Saturday, was delighted to be back in an ambience that he knew so well (between 2008 and 2011).

“I raced in the Formula 2.0 Eurocup for two years and then in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series for a year and a half, so the World Series by Renault has helped me to get where I am today. I’m happy to be back and to meet up again with all those who gave me a helping hand.” Jérôme d’Ambrosio made a striking return to the World Series by Renault, two years after his last F1 Show.

Jean Ragnotti, an iconic figure in French rallying, was still as much in demand by his fans as ever. ‘Jeannot’ the popular driver of the Renault 5 Maxi Turbo during the Renault Classic Show was his usual available and ever-smiling self. “It’s an endless pleasure to slide this car and give the public this unique show. You see afterwards that their passion still burns as brightly as ever,” he laughed.

Renault is a partner with the French Rugby team and invited the national coach, Philippe Saint-André, and one of his key players, Maxime Mermoz, to visit the rugby village specially set up by the organization before they tasting the pleasures of the track. The facilities were an eye-opener for Mermoz (pictured with Jean Ragnotti). “Coming into this universe makes a big impression; it provides the variety of a big entertainment park where everybody can find something to his taste,” said the RC Toulon player. “You can also access everything that makes you dream about the motor car and that you can’t always get near. When you see this on-going spectacle, it takes you back to your childhood!”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 02 October 2012
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