Renault isn’t letting up with the return of its Alpine brand. After announcing a partnership with Caterham to bring a new Alpine to market by 2015 (now expected by 2016), the French firm has announced it is taking Alpine racing again in the European Le Mans Series this year – and that includes The 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It has been 35 years since Alpine last competed in Le Mans, when it won the race outright and dropped the mic as it left the pits, never to return. Before that, in the 11 years it campaigned in the most famous endurance race on the planet from 1963 to 1978, it took seven class wins.
Caterham won’t be involved with the race team, however; that will be an effort spearheaded by the Signatech-Nissan team that has been running GT Academy winners in LMS racing. Alpine is preparing an LMP2 chassis that will get a 500-horsepower Nissan engine for this year’s championship, with the first two named drivers being Nelson Panciatici (above right) and Pierre Ragues (above left). The third driver for Le Mans will be announced later this month when the racer is launched at the Le Castellet race track in southern France.
The press release below has more details, and prepare yourself now for a chant that hasn’t been heard since Val