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Le Mans Miniatures Inaltéra GTP #1 & #2 Le Mans 1976
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Le Mans Miniatures 132088-1M Inaltéra GTP #1 Le Mans 1976 - Henri Pescarolo & Jean-Pierre Beltoise
Le Mans Miniatures 132088-1M Inaltéra GTP #2 Le Mans 1976 - Jean Rondeau, Jean-Pierre Jaussaud & Christine Beckers

French artisan model makers Le Mans Miniatures have just a released a new car to add to a growing 1976 Le Mans 24-hour grid. The Inaltéra was the first car produced by Jean Rondeau to race at Le Mans. Sponsorship from the Lyonnias wallpaper company Inaltéra was the crucial factor in getting Rondeau's career as a sports prototype manufacturer started. He designed the car around the 3-litre Ford DFV V8 engine and eventually built six cars to compete in the new Le Mans GT Prototype class - winning class honours in 1976 and 1977 with Vic Elford as team manager. From 1978, Rondeau's cars raced under his own name with Otis sponsorship. For anyone with memories of Le Mans in the late 70s and early 80s, the name Rondeau is synonymous with the event.

   
Ex-Matra drivers Henri Pescarolo and Jean-Pierre Beltoise shared the #1 car, qualifying twelfth and - after early teething problems with an oil leak - drove a steady race to eighth overall and first in the GTP class.
       

The Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class was new for 1976: closed-topped cars that were heavier than the Group 6 prototypes and did not have rear wings. The cars also needed to be 100 cm high. The GTP regulations were the forerunner of Group C.


   
The #2 car - driven by Rondeau himself, alongside Jean-Pierre Jaussaud & Christine Beckers - qualified in seventeenth and also had early problems in the race. Lengthy pit stops - including two to change shock absorbers - dropped the second car back, eventually finishing in twenty-first place.
       


   

The Le Mans Miniatures models are - as always - works of art. Cast in polyurethane resin and hand-finished, it would be understandable if the cars remained in their boxes. However, underneath is an injection-moulded racing chassis with Slot.it components, including aluminium hubs at the rear...

       

Although rather more expensive than a Scalextric or Carrera car, you get what you pay for. The two 1976 Inaltéra are priced at £110, although Pendle Slot racing have them for £99.95 and MRE's Club Price (exclusive to SlotRacer Online members) is £93.50. They are available now.
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