Signatech Alpine ready with 7 drivers for 6 seats

The Signatech Alpine team is ready with seven drivers for their six available seats.

But how does that work, you’d ask?

Nelson Panciatici, Pierre Ragues, and Andre Negrao will share number 35, while Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes, Matt Rao, AND Romain Dumas will pilot the #36.

The reason why there are four drivers in #36 is because Nicolas Lapierre has been allowed to go and race for Toyota Gazoo Racing at Spa and Le Mans, and it means that Romain Dumas will replace him for those two races.

The story behind 35 is a bit special, too. They will be at the Prologue at Monza this week, but then they will skip the opening round at Silverstone and will only start their season at Spa Francorchamps.

Signatech Alpine A470
Photo: Signatech Alpine

The Signatech Alpine team enters the LMP2 class in the FIA WEC with a car called an Alpine A470. However, that is only a badge, since the real car is a ORECA 07 Gibson like all the other LMP2 cars in the WEC field is this year. But Alpine has been allowed to change the name due to marketing reasons for it to fit their new A110 road car.

Signatech Alpine is the defending Champion in LMP2, where Lapierre, Menezes, and Stephane Richelmi took home the Championship to the French team. Richelmi is replaced by Matt Rao, who had his debut season in the FIA WEC last year for the Manor team.

Panciatici was part of the #35 throughout some of the 2016 season, while Pierre Ragues and Andre Negrao are new in the car. Ragues has been with team before and was part of the winning combo in the ELMS 2013. Since then he has done more LMP2 racing plus some GTE-AM. But now he is back in an LMP2 car.

Andre Negrao is new to the sportscar world. He has done numerous single-seater races, where he has done Formula Renault 2.0, Formula Renault 3.5, GP2, and Indy Lights.

The FIA WEC starts this weekend at Monza with their Prologue, before the season really starts in two and a half weeks at Silverstone.

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