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Renault's secret V10 development

OUR spies in France are suggesting that Renault Sport is working on the design of a radically different system of engine distribution for its 1996 V10 engine.

The new engine, which will be called the RS8, is currently being designed by Bernard Dudot's 150-strong team at its factory in the Avenue President Kennedy at Viry-Chatillon, near Paris, France.

Renault was the company which pioneered pneumatic valve technology back in the early 1980s, the idea having been dreamed up by Jean-Pierre Boudy, who is now technical director at Peugeot Sport.

The current Renault Sport research & development team at Viry-Chatillon is headed by 48-year-old Jean-Jacques His who has been with Renault Sport since he replaced Boudy in 1984, although he went to Ferrari between 1985-1989 when Renault Sport was not involved in F1.

Renault Sport's research and development departments are constantly pushing forward with engine technology, working with its technical partners such as Aerospatiale (advanced materials), Messier castings and Magneti-Marelli electronics. In the course of a season, Renault Sport makes no fewer than 300 different revisions of its 70 engines; but a large-scale R&D breakthrough - such as pneumatic valves - is rare.

The leak of news about the new V10, however, may be deliberate as Renault Sport is trying very hard to keep MichaelĘSchumacher for 1996. Although Renault would be happy to have Frenchman Jean Alesi as one of its drivers, it does not want to see Schumacher slip away to Ferrari.

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