Alpine A424
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Alpine's new attempt to scale Le Mans heights

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When Alpine officially launched its new LMDh challenger at Le Mans last month, it was almost exactly 45 years since the manufacturer enjoyed glory in the legendary enduro. Now it is attempting to combine all the ingredients to replicate that success on its full top-class return

There was a nice symmetry when, on the Friday of last month’s Le Mans 24 Hours, Alpine unveiled the prototype with which it will attempt to rekindle past glories in endurance racing. The French enduro happened to fall on the same dates this year as in 1978, when the Renault marque finally triumphed in a race in which it had had a long, if interrupted, presence since 1963.

Much was made of that victory when the covers came off the new World Endurance Championship contender, which for the moment is known as the A424_ß. You could easily have misread that as A442B, the machine Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud took to victory 45 years earlier, give or take the odd three days.

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