SEPTEMBER 1, 2008
Out and about in France
On Sunday Sebastien Bourdais took a tour of the city of Paris - at the wheel of his Toro Rosso-Ferrari. The midday drivers in Paris had a shock as the Frenchman hurtled through the streets, accompanied by a fleet of nine police outriders. Bourdais took in the Place de la Concorde, the Eiffel Tower, the Hotel des Invalides and the Trocadero on his tour, pausing on the Esplanade des Invalides to perform as number of doughnuts for fans gathered there to watch.
The demonstration run was organised by Red Bull as a way to publicise Red Bull, which is now available in France, and to announce the start of ticket sales for the 2009 French Grand Prix.
Meanwhile up in Dieppe a statue was unveiled in memory of Jean Redele, the founder of the Alpine company, who died a year ago. Redele's company built the Renault F1 prototype in 1977 and many of the engineers involved went on to become members of the original Renault F1 team. The statue is located close to the Alpine factory, which is now used by Renault to produce high performance road cars. There were 800 people present to watch the unveiling including Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, who won Le Mans in 1978 in a Renault-Alpine, plus a host of French rally veterans, including Jean Ragnotti, Jean-Pierre Nicolas, and Alain Serpaggi.