Formula Renault was the successor of Formula France, created in 1968. This single-seater competition category featured the gearbox and engine from the Renault 8 Gordini in order to be affordable and allow drivers to move on to F3. Three years later, the Critérium was taken over by the Renault Sport Promotion service. Renamed Formula Renault, the discipline took off in 1971. The following year, the engine from the Renault 12 Gordini was used and success was immediate. The format was exported across Europe and Formula Renault became an inevitable step on the motor racing ladder. In 1972 – 74 the series was known as Formula Renault European Challenge. The champions were Alain Cudini, Rene Arnoux and Didier Pironi. In 1975-77 it was renamed to Formula Renault Europe Challenge. Arnoux, Pironi and Alain Prost won the series in 1975, 1976 and 1977, respectively. Then there was a 24 years gap, and the Formula Renault Eurocup introduced by Renault Sport started in 1991. The Mk20 driven in 1977 by Alain Prost was manufactured by Automobiles Martini, French racing car manufacturer founded by Renato Tico Martini and based in Magny-Cours. The model index MK stands for “Martini-Knight”, named after Martini and the Knight brothers who created the Winfield driving school in Magny-Cours. 1977 Formula Renault Europe Challenge included 16 rounds held at various French circuits, with abroad rounds in Hockenheim and Monza. Alain Prost won 6 races and clinched the title.