The A460, entered by Signatech-Alpine and driven by France’s Nicolas Lapierre, Monaco’s Stéphane Richelmi and American Gustavo Menezes, took victory in LMP2 in the WEC’s six-hour endurance race at Belgium’s famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
The win was achieved in dramatic circumstances, too. Lapierre lost the class lead when forced to make a late pit stop for a top-up of fuel but a charging comeback drive enabled him to regain first position shortly before the finish.
Resultantly Lapierre, Richelmi and Menezes share the lead of the LMP2 drivers’ championship. Signatech-Alpine is now second in the teams’ championship.
The WEC’s next round is on home ground for Alpine – the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours (Sat 18/Sun 19 June) where it will surely be hoping for a repeat of its Spa success. Indeed it was in 1977 that Alpine and Renault jointly celebrated a famous victory in the 24 Hours race when drivers Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud guided home their Renault-Alpine A442B five laps ahead of the opposition…
Following the A460’s win at Spa, Alpine’s Deputy Managing Director Bernard Ollivier commented: “That was a very emotional race for us but it culminated in the maiden victory for the Alpine A460. Above all, I was impressed by the team’s panache, which is a particularly important quality for Alpine.”
He added: After the celebrations, everybody will seek to capitalise on what we learned at Spa, but we will travel to Le Mans feeling more motivated than ever.”