April 10, 2013

The Alpine A450 poised to kick-off its 2013 campaign at Silverstone

As a tribute to the Alpines which raced at Le Mans in the 1970s, the 'LM P2' prototype run by Signatech-Alpine has been christened 'Alpine A450'.

"Alpine's return to motor racing marks the beginning of a new adventure for this legendary brand," said Carlos Tavares,
Renault's Chief Operating Officer. "Although our focus is very much on the future, with the development of a new car which is due to reach the market in 2016, we have not forgotten Alpine's extraordinary heritage."

"The name Alpine A450 stood out as a natural choice for this prototype which will contest the ELMS and the Le Mans 24 Hours. It pays tribute to the A441, A442 and A443 which raced at and - in the case of the A442B - won at Le Mans in the 1970s. The figure '50' symbolises the fiftieth anniversary of Alpine's first official entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours."

The Alpine A450's first competitive outing will be at Silverstone, United Kingdom, April 13, with drivers Nelson Panciatici and Pierre Ragues, almost 35 years after the Alpine-Renault A442B's landmark victory at Le Mans in the hands of Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Didier Pironi.

The Alpine A450 will be the very first car of the brand to take part in an official race at Silverstone.

"I'm thrilled to be in the exciting last stages of preparing for the Alpine A450's debut in the European Le Mans Series. The news of this project got a warm reception in France and elsewhere. We had very little time to prepare for the season but our efforts have already born fruit, thanks notably to our very close collaboration with Michelin. Our first tests were very constructive, but only the race itself can confirm whether our work has been good enough," said Signatech-Alpine's Team Principal Philippe Sinault.

After securing the fastest lap-time at the ELMS pre-season test at Circuit Paul Ricard, France, in March, Nelson Panciatici has high hopes for the team's maiden appearance, said, "Silverstone is one of my favourite circuits. All racing drivers adore the sequence through 'Copse', 'Maggots' and 'Becketts' which is key to a strong lap. You also need a nicely balanced car and that's where the Alpine could have an edge. We have done some very good work in recent weeks and we are ready for the start of the season. I know that Alpine has the potential to succeed."

Tristan Gommendy, who will join Alpine as its third driver for the Le Mans 24 Hours, will also travel to Silverstone to continue familiarising himself with the team. Meanwhile, Alpine's junior driver Paul-Loup Chatin will contest the race in an LM PC car.


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