Alpine (Renault) officially returns to Le Mans and endurance racing

As reported earlier in the week, the famous Renault brand Alpine will be returning to sportscars this year. It's official.

It's been a 35-year wait for the Alpine name to return to endurance racing, and specifically Le Mans. This comeback has taken the form of a partnership with the Signatech team of Philippe Sinault. An Alpine LMP2 will be entered in the European Le Mans Series for Pierre Ragues and Nelson Panciatici, including Le Mans.

It's with tremendous pride and a certain amount of emotion that we are beginning this Alpine program.

Philippe Sinault, Signatech

The livery will renew the famous deep blue from the French marque. The No. 36 ORECA 03 therefore takes on the Alpine name, switching from a Nissan to Alpine engine, which will not fundamentally change much since the two brands are part of the same group.

Philippe Sinault is very pleased with the new partnership : "It's with tremendous pride and a certain amount of emotion that we are beginning this Alpine program. I'd like to thank Pierre Fillon (ACO), Carlos Antunes Tavarès (Renault) and Bernard Ollivier (Alpine). I can only be proud that my team be associated with the return of Alpine. This project will put us on another step forward. We have the best possible package to do well and we will take on the European Le Mans Series and 24 Hours of Le Mans together."

Alpine fans from around the world will become Signatech-Alpine supporters : « There's an incredible amount of expectation from the public. We love to share in this and everyone is ready to meet the fans in the ELMS and Le Mans."

Two drivers are confirmed for the moment: With Pierre and Nelson, we have what it takes to be up front. The third driver isn't confirmed yet, but we hope to have an announcement to make by the end of the month. In the end, we won't have a car in the FIA World Endurance Championship because our partnership with G-Drive has come to an end for this season. Signatech still has a second car on the Le Mans reserve list, and time will tell whether we will be able to enter it."

This collaboration between Alpine and Signatech is only a first step, even if it is early to talk 2014: "That answer is not mine to give. We are going step by step and things need to evolve. We'll see for the future, and we are looking at the new regulations."

Source: Laurent Mercier/ Translation: Rainier Ehrhardt

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About this article
Series Le Mans , European Le Mans
Drivers Pierre Ragues , Pierre Fillon , Nelson Panciatici , Philippe Sinault
Teams Nissan Motorsport , Signatech
Article type Breaking news
Tags aco, alpine, elms, lemans, lp2, oreca, panciatici, ragues, renault, signatech, sinault