Alpine reveals LMP1 contender for step up to WEC's top class

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 step up to WEC's top class

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 the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in May.

The A480 is essentially a rebadged version of the Oreca-built Rebellion R-13 fielded by the Swiss watch maker 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.

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.

Alpine A480 LMP1

Alpine A480 LMP1

Photo by: Alpine

“Happy and proud to be with you today for the World Endurance Championship season launch,” Groupe Renault CEO Luca de Meo said. 

“We are very proud to be presenting the Alpine A480 to support our collars in the brand new Hypercar category, the very best of endurance racing. 

“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.”

shares
comments

Related video

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Previous article

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Next article

Glickenhaus move "very important" step for Derani

Glickenhaus move "very important" step for Derani
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Teams Signatech
Author Rachit Thukral
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Prime

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy Prime

How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy

Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger Prime

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger

Toyota's new GR010 contender for the World Endurance Championship's Hypercar era has little in common with the LMP1 TS050 that preceded it. But within the confines of the scaled back new rules, its latest challenger will be no less formidable a prospect

WEC
Jan 22, 2021
The tiny increments that decided the final LMP1-era WEC Prime

The tiny increments that decided the final LMP1-era WEC

The system of success handicaps devised by the FIA World Endurance Championship to level the LMP1 playing field in the category's swansong season ended up having a counterproductive effect, as COVID cancellations also played in the champions' favour.

WEC
Dec 5, 2020
Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars Prime

Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars

OPINION: The news that Audi will return to Le Mans means we'll at last get to see the fight promised in 2012 against Peugeot and Toyota. It also gives LMDh a tangible form, which could open the floodgates for more like-minded marques to follow suit…

WEC
Dec 1, 2020
The eternal debate revived after the 2019/20 WEC season Prime

The eternal debate revived after the 2019/20 WEC season

It may have been missed amid the clamour over Lewis Hamilton's seventh F1 title, but Britain had another world champion crowned last weekend. Mike Conway's WEC crown raises an old conundrum - does title glory make up for the pain of Le Mans defeat?

WEC
Nov 19, 2020