1969 Alpine A220. 1500 lbs. 310hp. @ Circuit La Sarthe.
one word: WICKED.
I eagerly await this year’s Le Mans (June 22-23)—-and while I will be, as usual, pulling for the stunning Audi R18s to win (as expected they will), my eyes will actually be peeled out for the Alpine A450 which heralds the return of one of the greatest marques in racing back to Le Mans! Sure this is a car that was developed primarily by Nissan originally, however its tuning and program is now joined to the hip with Dieppe and the Renaultsport/Alpine tuners. It is such a great feeling to see the Alpine marque on the track again, and with reasonable success I am sure that in the near future we will start to see a non-Nissan Alpine race car being developed and run in future endurance events!
Here are some photos shown by Team Signature about the current A450 race car doing Le Mans testing this weekend in France.
As usual, IEDEI will be setting up live feeds of Le Mans on this site as we do every year to help everyone to watch it!
I was expecting an announcement for 2014 Le Mans, but Renault has somewhat surprised everybody by announcing that there will be an Alpine badged car racing the LMP2 class in THIS year’s Le Mans. Wow. They’ve also released the ‘teaser’ pic above (tastefully tweaked by yours truly).
Here are some quotes directly from Renault:
“Today, another important step has been taken with the announcement that an Alpine prototype is to race in the competitive 2013 European Le Mans Series endurance racing championship (ELMS), as well as at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours (June 22-23).
The decision to compete at Le Mans fits perfectly with the brand’s heritage, since Alpine contested the famous 24-Hour race 11 times between 1963 and 1978, running a total of 55 factory cars. In addition to its successes in the ‘Energy Index’ classification in 1964, 1965 and 1968, as well as in the ‘Performance Index’ classification in 1968 and 1969, its efforts harvested seven class wins in total and, above all, outright victory in 1978 with the Alpine A442B prototype shared by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Didier Pironi. The two Frenchmen were joined in the top four by the A442 of Jean Ragnotti and Guy Fréquelin.
For its return to Le Mans, Alpine has joined forces with Signatech. The Philippe Sinault-run team will enter an Alpine LM P2 prototype with an Alpine chassis powered by a 500hp Nissan engine for the five rounds of the ELMS, including the opening race at Silverstone, England (April 13). The drivers will be Nelson Panciatici and Pierre Ragues.
The highlight of the season will naturally be the Le Mans 24 Hours. The name of the third driver who will join the team for the world’s most famous endurance race will be announced when the car is officially presented at Le Castellet, France, on March 24.
Said Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer, Renault: “Alpine’s return to the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours in 2013 marks the beginning of a new adventure which is set to last. The passion that drives us is matched only by the humility and careful attention paid to costs that epitomise this comeback which itself has been made possible thanks to the involvement of our partners and supporters who I would like to thank formally here. Together, step by step, we will do our very best to write another exciting page in the history of Alpine, a truly outstanding name in the world of French sports cars.””
I AM SO EXCITED.
src: renault press services
An announcement is expected Friday to hear Renault introducing the plans for their return to endurance racing! LMP2 is surely expected by the 2014 racing season with possible LMP1 ambitions as well, and the engines are expected to carry the ALPINE badge! Renaultsport (which evolved out of the original Alpine after it stopped making cars 20+ years ago) will be tuning them and involved with the engine construction. All of this seems consistent with the Renault plan to resurrect one of the finest racing and rallying marques ever! I wonder if the cars themselves will be badged “Alpine-Renault” like the old days.
IEDEI is, of course, devoted to Alpine news and will offer updates as they come in. My biggest issue is going to be whether I root for Audi or Alpine? I have stayed up to watch almost all Le Mans races for the past several years….and am a die hard Audi fanboy. If Alpine makes it to LMP1 against Audi…..it will be very very tough for me to root against the boys in blue.
BTW, to fuel the imagination, here is an interesting ‘re-interpretation’ (rendering) of the glorious Alpine A220 by Racing Emotion found at le Blog Auto. Obviously this is not a realistic vision, but still entertaining to look at!
Bentley is coming back to Le Mans! And would you just look at this beauty. The Bentley Continental GT3. Most excellent, sir.
I’m still trying to get over how i’ve posted 2 entries about the Bentley Continental in 1 week. Don’t get the wrong idea….i’m not that into the Continental….or Bentleys for that matter…but both photos are quite interesting I must say.
Is this an Audi R8 in disguise? i’m almost certain it is. Does this mean that Audi will be bringing the R8 to Le Mans after 2013? I would certainly assume so. Domination in different classes is sure to ensue….
a video of the big beast in action:
src: Audi Sport
An awful crash which just took out the #8 Toyota TS030 today in Le Mans. A damn shame…..amateur privateers driving Ferraris ruining the LMP1 class race again this year.
Meantime, Toyota have done superb today—until this terrible accident. Anthony Davidson is apparently OK after the accident. The driver of the Ferrari is also OK.
I will be updating this during the course of the next 24 hours.
Unfortunately I am not able to embed any of these sources directly onto here, so the best I can do is link to some sources. If one of them fails, use the others as alternatives!
Edit @ Noon, US EST: I now have a great French-English Le Mans TV live video feed embedded in this post! Just click the play button. This feed should be reliable for 24 hours. If you don’t like the bilingual feed, my suggestion would be to play this video feed and listen to Radio Le Mans (linked below) at the same time.
These are not scams! these are good, hopefully reliable sources to stream the best race on earth!
SOURCE 3 (Le Mans-TV, French-English, watch it on IEDEI!)
SOURCE 1 (Eurosport) (Not working)
SOURCE 2 (Eurosport)
SOURCE 4 (English, average quality)
SOURCE 5 (Eurosport, better quality)
SOURCE 6 (Eurosport, better quality)
SOURCE 7 (Eurosport, better quality)
Le Mans Live (Live timing, Multiple on-board views, thanks Serge)
Audi TV (cockpit view, intermittent other views)
Audi TV #2 (cockpit view)
Radio Le Mans (audio feed)
Baekdal Live Timing (great live timing feed! thanks Piotr)
more to come soon!
Toyota has a monumental task this year at Le Mans—with a brand new Le Mans team and race car, trying to fill in the vacant shoes of Peugeot. Audi are trying to surpass Ferrari on the all-time list of Le Mans victories, amidst the most dominant period of endurance racing ever seen by any marque this side of Porsche in the late 70s/early 80s.
I really miss Peugeot, however am also very pleased that Toyota have put their guts into building a race car that will most definitely be competitive. In early practices, it has been reported that the TS030 was only a bit over 1 second slower than the R18 e-tron quattro—-and considering all of the madness which actually goes down in the race and the traffic issues; I’d say Audi definitely have some competition this year.
That being said…The TS030 is fantastic to look at, and nicely fills in the shoes of the missing Peugeot blue and white race cars with their new blue, white, and red livery!
What a week it’s gonna be for the Audi Sport team at Le Mans! 4 R18s are ready to pounce next weekend. Here’s a photo of the sinister R18 e-Tron quattro lurking in the transporter.
As an Audiphile, this week feels like a holiday! You’ll be seeing a lot of Le Mans coverage through next weekend on here…as Audi gets ready to surpass Ferrari on the Le Mans all-time win list this year.
src: Audi Sport
The Audi R18‘s digital rear view mirror. The R18 has no rear visibility aside from the side-mounted mirrors. This is a very cool, tech solution is an active matrix OLED display with excellent image and screen quality. On top of that, there are NIGHT and DAY settings, to avoid headlights glaring at night and to avoid sun glare in the day.
Well this is a bit sad, isn’t it…..recently Peugeot pulled out completely from Le Mans 2012 and as an Audi Sport fan, I was very let down by this news. Peugeot and Audi had such a fantastic rivalry over the past few years, and it really made for great sporting and great racing. Le Mans has been uber exciting to watch the past few years, and last year’s Le Mans will go down in history as one of THE most exciting races ever run at the La Sarthe.
Since then, i’ve heard of Peugeot selling their entire Paris offices, and liquidating lots of their assets. GM now owns a fraction of the company, and It’s hard to figure out exactly how fast Peugeot-Citroen are falling—-however it’s plain to see they are.
Next up on the chopping block? Some of their endurance racers. This is the 2007 Peugeot 908 HDi Fap that is going up on RM Auctions. I’m tired of hearing people long for the ‘older’ Le Mans cars saying that modern Le Mans cars aren’t that cool….nonsense! Modern Le Mans cars are amazing, and this is a great example of why. It is, however, sad to see Peugeot selling their history.
Some notable achievements of this #2 car:
• 2009 Le Mans Works entry
• 1st Overall at Monza, Silverstone and Spa
• Groundbreaking HDi diesel-powered V-12 engine
• Run by the Works-Peugeot factory race team
Auction estimate? 1.5 to 1.8 million Euros. I guess it’s time to cancel my Veyron order….
If you haven’t seen the original “Truth In 24” you are really missing out. There is no reason you should NOT have seen the original! It is an amazing piece of filmmaking and a must-see for anyone into motor racing.
The exciting news is that part 2 is coming out about the R18 TDI’s dramatic win at the 2011 Le Mans. Very exciting stuff. That race was remarkable and now its been documented and will be released to coincide with the upcoming 2012 Le Mans!
Go here and watch the trailer for Part 2 and if you haven’t seen part 1, it is available FREE as a download through iTunes at the Audi USA site HERE