Renault enters the race
Early on, the Renault brothers understood the promotional value of motor sports for an automotive brand. They started competing in the voiturette class, taking home several victories in city-to-city races in the early 20th century.
The 1902 Paris-Vienna race would elevate Renault to a whole new level, with the company adding three Type K “lightweight cars” to its fleet of four small voiturettes. It was a tough race, with a crossing of the Alps at the Arlberg Pass, at an altitude of 1,500 metres.
Exposed to strong winds, the drivers braved the elements and the steep mountain roads. Next to Zborowski’s big and powerful Mercedes and Henry Farman’s Panhard, Type K went largely unnoticed; however, its lightweight design proved to be a winning strategy when Marcel Renault crossed the finish line in first place! He travelled the 1,300 kilometres at an astounding average speed of 62.5 km/h!
Renault would henceforth be considered as a serious contender in all categories.