Alpine with two strong cars in the FIA WEC

Alpine Elf Team will enter two very strong cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship 2023.

The French team, which is run by Signatech, has a kind of interim year in 2023, with them staying sharp between their Hypercar programme with the Alpine A480 build to LMP1 spec, and their brand new LMDh car coming for 2024.

If you look at the drivers, it hasn’t got any signs of 2023 just being a year just to tool around – but there are super high goals.

While they ran just a single car in 2021 and 2022, they will run two cars in the LMP2 category this year.

Car #35 will be run by the well-known Alpine driver Andre Negrao, and he will be sharing the car with Memo Rojas and Olli Caldwell. Rojas has raced European Le Mans Series for many years, and was part of the winning crew in both 2017 and 2019. The FIA WEC will however be a brand new challenge for the Mexican. Olli Caldwell is brand new in Prototype racing, but not a rookie in sportscar racing – he does have the massive number of two starts in GT4 material at the Gulf 12 Hours 2019, where he won both halves of the race. He has been racing single-seaters until now, as well as being part of the Ferrari Academy in the past.

Alpine Elf Team 2023
Photo: Alpine Elf Team

Another Alpine veteran will be in car #36, in the shape of Matthieu Vaxiviere. The Frenchman will share with two fellow countrymen. One will be a Signatech returnee from 2022 – Charles Milesi. The young French racer has climbed the sportscar ladder in only a short amount of time, from being Silver ranked driver at COOL Racing in 2021, to be a clear lead driver at Richard Mille Racing Team in 2022, where he had Lilou Wadoux and Sebastien Ogier as teammates from the start of the season, with both being brand new in LMP2 racing. The final driver will be a super experienced driver, who has taken a break from the FIA WEC for a couple of years. Julien Canal is back to the series in which he won the title in both 2015 and 2017 in LMP2. He has continued to race in the ELMS since then, which he by the way ran as a parallel programme for some years. Canal has been on the LMP2 podium in both 2020 and 2021, but we have to go all the way back to 2010-2012, for him to win the GT1 GTE Am category for three years in a row.

There will be a total of 11 LMP2 cars in the 2023 FIA WEC season, which is back to being just a single class, with not enough teams being interested in the LMP2 Pro/Am concept. That on the other hand, has great success in the European Le Mans Series this coming season.

The FIA WEC 2023 starts on 17 March at Sebring International Raceway, with two days of testing being run on the weekend prior to that.

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