Alpine has confirmed a brand new LMDh programme, which will compete in ACO racing from 2024.
The French car manufacturer has made a deal with ORECA, who will be building the car, while the engine will be developed at their own factory in Viry-Chatillon, in the outskirts of Paris.
Signatech has been chosen as a partner in the programme. The French team has been active together with Alpine since 2013, where they first participated in the European Le Mans Series in the LMP2 category, and later on in the FIA World Endurance Championship. They won the ELMS titles in both 2013 and 2014, before they moved on to win the FIA WEC titles in 2016 and 2019. On top of that, they have on the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016, 2018 and 2019 in LMP2.
They started a Hypercar programme in 2021, where they bought the rights for the Rebellion R13 chassis, and renamed it to Alpine A480, with a de-tuned Gibson engine. The team haven’t yet achieved their first win, but they have been on the podium at all rounds this year. The car has been fast enough on a single lap, but has had the big problem, of not being able to carry enough fuel, with the BOP that they have been handed. The fuel tank is simply too small on the former LMP1 car. So they have had to refuel at least once more than everybody else in the Hypercar category, with the short 6 and 8 hour races so far this year.
The team confirms, that they are planning to continue in sportscar racing until 2024, but they are not yet ready to announce in what form. The Signatech team is currently active with the Richard Mille Racing Team in LMP2 in FIA WEC, but without any Alpine involvement in that part of the garage.
Both Signatech and Alpine are waiting for the thumbs up from ACO, to be able to continue with the A480 Hypercar for 2022 and 2023. The grandfathered LMP1 cars were originally only allowed for 2021, but there is still uncertainty about the exact arrival of the Peugeot Sport programme, and exactly how many races that Glickenhaus Racing wants to participate in next year. So Alpine might end up being the only opposition to Toyota Gazoo Racing at some rounds, with one or more Alpine cars. They got hold of a second chassis prior to Le Mans, so there is a chance of running two cars.
There are two races left of the 2021 FIA WEC season, which both will run in Bahrain. So there are two more opportunities to snatch the win away from Toyota Gazoo Racing, if everything goes right for Alpine Elf Matmut.