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
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021
Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Prime

Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally.

WEC
Aug 14, 2021