02/06/2016

Spa World Endurance Championship success for Alpine’s latest racer

The Alpine brand, an integral part of the Renault Group’s motor sporting activity, has tasted international racing success for the first time with its new A460 LMP2 category car in the World Endurance Championship.
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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.”