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.”

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