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The A480 and Tyre Magic | Renault Group
Alpine has long grasped the importance of tyres and the benefits that can be reaped by being attentive to what are, in reality, the only point of contact between the car and the race track. From 1964, the French firm even contributed actively to the development of radial tyres, a technology that revolutionised the automobile industry.
ALPINE AND TYRE INNOVATION
It was effectively to Alpine that the concept’s inventor – Michelin – turned to resolve the problem of high-speed control-loss. Thanks to the easy-to-adjust suspension that equipped its F2 and F3 single-seaters and endurance racing prototypes, Alpine played a part in optimising the performance of radial tyres, a breakthrough that became synonymous with the doubling of tyre life in the minds of ordinary motorists.
The 1967 Le Mans 24 Hours saw Alpine and Michelin introduce another breakthrough that is today commonplace in motor racing, and which Formula 1 was swift to imitate, namely slicks; in other words tyres without a tread pattern which provide superior grip in dry weather by maximising the amount of rubber that is directly in contact with the ground.
In 1978, it was consequently no surprise to see Alpine become the first make to win Le Mans on radial slicks…