Alpine has become the latest manufacturer to officially announce an LMDh programme, joining the new top class of hybrid prototypes in 2024.
The French manufacturer will enter a pair of cars into the FIA World Endurance Championship. The chassis will be built by ORECA, with which Alpine has had an ongoing relationship since 2013.
The engine will be developed at Renault’s base in Viry-Châtillon, with the engine, chassis and body package being developed with expertise from both the Signatech operation as well as the Alpine F1 Team.
“The Alpine Endurance program underlines the brand’s dedication and ambition in motorsport,” said Laurent Rossi, Alpine CEO. “By competing in both Formula 1 and endurance, Alpine will be one of the rare brands to be present in the two key disciplines of motorsport.”
“We will make the most of Formula 1 and endurance through technical and technological synergies to gain the advantage over prestigious opponents. “
Alpine’s LMDh involvement had been rumoured for multiple months. The French manufacturer was even allowed by the ACO to have one of its Formula One cars perform a demonstration lap ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Alpine currently competes in the FIA WEC with a grandfathered, ORECA-built LMP1 car in the Hypercar category. Both the manufacturer and the Signatech squad, which has operated the Alpine prototype programme since its debut in 2013, intend to remain involved in the series until 2024.
It will reveal its plans in due course, although it seems likely that the ACO will allow Alpine to continue using the A480-Gibson for at least the 2022 season.
“It is a great pride for Signatech to have been chosen by Alpine for its arrival in LMDh,” said Signatech boss Philippe Sinault. “This represents the culmination of a common project that began eight years ago.
“More than ever, we have great ambitions, and are happy to take our collaboration to another dimension. After 32 years of career in motorsport, I can’t wait to challenge the most prestigious manufacturers on the planet, with Alpine, a brand that conveys passion and lives only for victory.”
Alpine thus becomes the latest manufacturer to officially join the incoming generation of top prototypes. It will join Toyota and Glickenhaus, which have already debuted their cars, but also Acura, Audi, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Cadillac and ByKolles.
“Another prestigious marque has joined the Hypercar class, the new premier league of endurance racing,” said ACO president Pierre Fillon. “There have been so many announcements over the past year and the latest from Alpine is excellent news for our discipline. The Hypercar regulations are a success and we’re delighted to see such a high-quality grid taking shape.”