City-to-city car races were all the rage at the start of the century. The Type K brought Renault its 1st major all-category win in the 1922 Paris-Vienna competition.
The Renault brothers immediately saw that racing brought car brands unhoped-for publicity. They started out in the small car category and quickly made a name for themselves in city-to-city races in the first years of the century.
Renault moved up a category for the 1902 Paris-Vienna event, entering 3 Type K “light cars” alongside 4 small cars. The going was tough, with competitors crossing the Alps via the Arlberg Pass 1,500 m above sea level. Hunkering down in their leather coats, the intrepid drivers braved the elements, the biting wind and the mountainside roads.
Nobody gave the Type K much of a chance alongside large and powerful vehicles like Count Zborowksi’s Mercedes and Henry Farman’s Panhard. But the Type K’s light weight worked wonders on the steep roads and Marcel Renault crossed the finish line 1st, having covered 1,300 km at an incredible average speed of 62.5 kph!
Renault cars were now serious contenders in all categories.