Signatech Alpine confirms 2019/20 line-up as Ragues replaces Thiriet

Signatech Alpine Elf has confirmed its driver line-up for the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship, with Pierre Ragues coming in to replace Pierre Thiriet, joining the returning Andre Negrao and the previously confirmed Toyota test driver Thomas Laurent. Laurent replaces Nicolas Lapierre, who is leaving the team for WEC debutant Cool Racing.

Thiriet, who sealed the LMP2 championship with Negrao and Nicolas Lapierre with a class win at Le Mans last month, is stepping down fro the team due to "personal and professional challenges", as a team statement said.

Philippe Sinault, Signatech Alpine team boss, commented: “We would first like to thank Pierre Thiriet for playing an extremely important part in our latest victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and our FIA World Endurance Championship title defence. He made no mistakes while putting in a perfect drive at Le Mans.”

Thiriet is set to be replaced by Ragues, who has raced with Signatech Alpine, notably scoring a class podium at Le Mans in 2017 alongside Andre Negrao and Nelson Panciatici. He last raced at Le Mans last month, finishing seventh in the LMP2 class for Duqueine Engineering alongside Nicolas Jamin and Romain Dumas.

“We had the opportunity to bring Pierre Ragues back in to the team and everything fell naturally into place," Sinault continued. "We share the same sporting and human values, which represents both a time saving and a guarantee of competitiveness.

"In addition, his atypical and versatile profile has always made him one of the best Alpine ambassadors both on and off track.

"We are carrying on the continuity we have shown these past few years with a strong, coherent and complementary driver line-up. We are now very excited to return to the track in two weeks in Barcelona."