ELF involved in World Endurance Championship with Signatech-Alpine in 2016
ELF involved in World Endurance Championship with Signatech-Alpine in 2015
The racing comeback of the Alpine brand in motorsport is a great achievement. After two successful years in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) with 2 titles in 2013 and 2014, Alpine has decided to ramp up in 2015. The Alpine A450b is committed in LMP2 category on the eight rounds of the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), with the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the main event of the year.
• Alpine and Elf: a love affair…
Jean Rédélé founds Alpine Automobiles in 1955 and produced its first cars. To support the development of the brand, he chose to focus on the competition. In rally, single-seater and endurance, Jean Rédélé multiplies successes ... ELF brand is already associated with each of his successes. The 24h of Le Mans. This conquest took place in two stages: the blue period between 1963 and 1969 and the yellow period between 1973 and 1978.
In 1973, it was under the name "Renault Alpine" that the A440 is presented for endurance races. The Renault Alpine A440 and A441 collect victories and the European title in 1974. The A442 & A442B marked racing history in 1976 with two pole positions and in 1978 with a victory in this legendary event, one more time with ELF brand as technical partner!
In 2013, Alpine decided to return to competition with SIGNATECH team, already committed in endurance. The project SIGNATECH-ALPINE LMP2 endurance and Le Mans 24 Hours is started with the ALPINE A450 & A450B. As a longstanding partner, ELF could not be absent from this new adventure alongside Alpine.
• Our Signatech-Alpine partner Team for 2016:
Following the recent confirmation of the entry of two A460s for the 2016 FIA WEC, Alpine is pleased to be able to announce the complete driver line-ups. The six men will defend its colours during a season that will see it embark on a world tour, visiting venues as far afield as Mexico and Japan, not to mention the famous Le Mans 24 Hours on June 18-19.Nelson Panciatici, a cornerstone of the team since Alpine’s return to motor racing in 2013, will compete in the N°35 prototype. The Frenchman’s experience and speed will benefit the DC Racing-led, Signatech-Alpine-run programme, and the 27-year old will share the car with David Cheng and Ho Pin-Tung. The newly-formed trio has set its sights particularly high.
The crew of the N°36 car – namely Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and the recently recruited Monegasque Stéphane Richelmi – has similarly lofty ambitions. After showcasing his skill in GP2 and GT racing, 25-year old Richelmi is a newcomer to prototype racing.
Signatech-Alpine will be able to count on the complementary skills and talent of these two crews in its bid to play a front-running role in the FIA WEC’s LMP2 class.
Philippe Sinault (Team Principal Signatech-Alpine): “We are thrilled to have Nelson Panciatici on board with us once more. He has won two ELMS titles with Signatech-Alpine and will bring his speed and experience to our association with DC Racing. It is also very satisfying to have enlisted the services of Stéphane Richelmi for the N°36 car. Our driver line-ups have now been finalised and I think they illustrate the determination behind Alpine’s racing programme for 2016. In their hands, the two A460s will be capable of fighting at the very front.
“The past few weeks have been quite intense, both for Alpine which recently presented the Alpine Vision show car in Monaco, and for the team which has been busy completing the build of our two cars. All six drivers have visited our base to get better acquainted with everyone, as well as to optimise their respective driving positions and to take part in technical meetings with our engineers. The squad is now raring to get on with what promises to be a challenging season!
“We are also pleased with and proud of DC Racing’s input. It’s an honour to have been chosen to run the technical, sporting and logistical sides of its programme. We are putting all our experience and know-how into making the project a success to a background of promoting Alpine’s reputation in China.
“Last but not least, I would like to express my disappointment at not having been able to keep Paul-Loup Chatin with us in 2016. He has contributed a great deal to the team and to our results these past two seasons. It was a hard decision to take but we hope we will be able to work with him again in the future because he is part of the Alpine family.”
ALPINE’S 2016 DRIVER LINE-UPS
N°35 Alpine A460: Nelson Panciatici / David Cheng / Ho-Pin Tung
N°36 Alpine A460: Nicolas Lapierre / Gustavo Menezes / Stéphane Richelmi
- March 25-26: Prologue – Circuit Paul Ricard (France)
- April 17: 6 Hours of Silverstone (Great Britain)
- May 7: WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)
- June 5: Le Mans 24 Hours Test Day (France)
- June 18-19: Le Mans 24 Hours (France)
- July 24: 6 Hours of Nürburgring (Germany)
- September 3: 6 Hours of Mexico (Mexico)
- September 17: 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas (USA)
- October 16: 6 Hours of Fuji (Japan)
- November 6: 6 Hours of Shanghai (China)
- November 19: 6 Hours of Bahrain