Alpine reveals LMP1 contender for WEC top class graduation

Alpine has taken the covers off its grandfathered LMP1 car for its move to the top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Alpine reveals LMP1 contender for WEC top class graduation

The Gibson-powered Alpine A480 will go up against a new breed of Hypercar contenders run by Toyota and Glickenhaus in the six-round WEC season, which will get underway at Spa-Francorchamps in May.

The A480 is a rebadged version of the Oreca-built Rebellion R-13 fielded by the Swiss outfit until its exit from motorsport at the end of 2020, but Alpine intends to develop the car throughout the year with the French chassis builder.

The Renault-owned brand is continuing its partnership with the Signatech team with which it took three LMP2 class wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours, including two in a row in 2018-19.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo said: “Taking up this new challenge shows how ambitious we are. Alpine has been back in endurance racing since 2013 and we’ve climbed our way season after season.

“Last time we won the ‘queen category’ was in 1978. That’s quite a challenge to live up to but I’m fully confident that the new A480 will rise up to it.”

Alpine A480 LMP1

Alpine A480 LMP1

Photo by: Alpine

Nicolas Lapierre, who was a part of Signatech Alpine squad during each of its three Le Mans successes, will reunite with the team after a one-year absence alongside Andre Negrao and fellow Frenchman Matthieu Vaxiviere.

Lapierre last raced an LMP1 car in 2017 as part of a two-race cameo in Toyota’s third TS050 Hybrid at Spa and Le Mans.

Negrao has been a regular at Alpine since 2017 in the LMP2 class, while Vaxiviere returns to the WEC full-time after largely sitting out the 2019/20 season.

Team principal Philippe Sinault said: “Alpine’s history is paved with challenges. Since 2013, we have been proving ourselves step by step, and showing that we are capable of defending the Alpine colours at the highest level.

"This new challenge is part of this mindset. The trust that Alpine has placed in us for this project is a source of great pride.

"We are approaching this programme with humility and the desire to do well at a time when the world of endurance racing is at a turning point in its history.

"We are determined to rise to this exhilarating and incredibly motivating challenge to once again anchor Alpine in the pantheon of French and international motorsport.”

shares
comments
Reviewing Tom Kristensen's memoir: Mr Le Mans
Previous article

Reviewing Tom Kristensen's memoir: Mr Le Mans

Next article

Glickenhaus not certain to contest Spa WEC season opener

Glickenhaus not certain to contest Spa WEC season opener
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future Plus

How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Plus

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Autosport hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022
The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory Plus

The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory

Peugeot went radical with the initial plan for its Le Mans Hypercar project, and then stuck to its guns. Here’s how things are shaping up a few weeks before the debut of the 9X8 in next month's Monza World Endurance Championship round

WEC
Jun 1, 2022
How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa Plus

How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa

After a chastening opening to the season at Sebring that ended in an enormous accident, Toyota's #7 crew got their World Endurance Championship underway with victory at a treacherously slippery Spa to make up for its sister car's Sebring defeat to Alpine, as Glickenhaus's promising qualifying turned to disaster in the race

WEC
May 9, 2022
The Chinese sportscar protege targeting a path to the top with Porsche Plus

The Chinese sportscar protege targeting a path to the top with Porsche

Yifei Ye came within one lap of winning the LMP2 class on his Le Mans 24 Hours debut last year, and his eye-catching 2021 has gained Porsche’s interest. With the German manufacturer preparing for a return to the top tier, the Chinese youngster is on the path to join it

WEC
Apr 14, 2022
How WEC got off to a stormy start in 2022 as rulemakers dampen Toyota's dominance Plus

How WEC got off to a stormy start in 2022 as rulemakers dampen Toyota's dominance

Toyota’s stranglehold on the World Endurance Championship ended at the 2022 opener at Sebring, but all accusing eyes were on the Balance of Performance system as the key to the shake-up. Here's how it unfolded, to see Alpine celebrating under a stormy sky having blown away the defending champions

WEC
Mar 21, 2022
Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year Plus

Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year

Team Penske is gearing up for its role in running Porsche’s LMDh programme from 2023 by entering this year's World Endurance Championship with an LMP2 car. Although the team is considering 2022 as a season to learn, it is no less serious about winning than ever - which should make the already fiercely competitive class even more so

WEC
Mar 17, 2022