Alpine has announced that it will enter the top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, entering an LMP1 effort under the Alpine Endurance Team banner and partnering with Signatech.
The French manufacturer will enter ‘an Alpine LMP1 prototype based on an Oreca chassis and Gibson engine’, which will likely be an ex-Rebellion R13-Gibson.
The announcement also confirms that grandfathered LMP1s will be able to compete alongside the new-for-2021 Le Mans Hypercar formula.
Signatech Alpine made its endurance racing debut in 2013 in the European Le Mans Series before stepping up to the WEC in 2014. It has since won two world championships and took the LMP2 class win at Le Mans three times, including back-to-back wins in the Super Season in 2018 and 2019.
Alpine competed in the top class at Le Mans eleven times between 1963 and 1978, taking the overall win with Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jassaud in 1978 with the A442B.
The Alpine Endurance Team joins Toyota Gazoo Racing and Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus in the new top class of the WEC. Peugeot Sport will join the category in 2022, with Peugeot confirming on Monday that it will unveil more details of its involvement at Le Mans.
Alpine, meanwhile, will unveil its LMP1 car, driver line-up and livery in the coming months.
“Motorsport is inseparable from the Alpine brand, whose passion for competition and sportsmanship is its DNA,” said Patrick Marinoff, Alpine Managing Director. “The return to endurance in 2013 marked the beginning of a long-term adventure.
“After eight successful years against some of the best teams in the world, it is time to take a new step by challenging the constructors in the premier category as we will also do in F1.
“The latest changes to the 2021 regulations allow Alpine to demonstrate its technical know-how and racing experience in a competitive and fair field thanks to a fairly moderated investment ensured with various cost controls measures.
Together, we intend to take the fight to well-established competition and to write new pages in the history of this great brand born out of competition that is Alpine and to put the French colours at the highest levels of motorsport.”
“Alpine’s history is full of challenges. Few believed in us back in 2013, but we proved ourselves step by step, demonstrating that we were capable of excelling at the highest level,” said Signatech director Philippe Sinault. “Today, this new challenge is in the same vein thanks to the opening of a unique window of opportunity.
“We will be the newcomers in the premier category and we intend to make life difficult for our rivals. Alpine’s confidence in this project is an immense source of pride for our teams and partners who joined this adventure in its early days.
“We approach this programme with the desire to perform well while having the means to work in an extremely qualitative manner in the context of the 2021 season.
“It’s an exciting and incredibly motivating sporting challenge and we want to be up to it so that Alpine can have an even larger presence in the history of French and world motorsport.”