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
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
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!
Leonello Design is a design company affiliated with the likes of Centro Stile Alfa Romeo, Zagato, and Touring Superleggera—-working on scale models and designs for them and other projects.
I’m not sure if any of them are available as prints or not, as not much is mentioned on their site.
One of these fine days, i’m going to get around to reading more about the hardcore rock and roll stories of the original Bentley Boys.
“In 1923, three dedicated automobile enthusiasts decided to create a competition based not only on speed, but also on endurance. This was the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours, destined to become one of the world’s most prestigious races. For Walter Owen Bentley and other manufacturers, the idea seemed pretty crazy, but that did not prevent him from rising to the challenge by sending one of his cars to take part in the first edition. 1924 witnessed a glorious triumph: the British firm won the Le Mans 24 Hours with a Bentley 3 Litres – a feat that it accomplished four more times, in 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930, the two latter victories being earned in a Speed 6. This was the era of the legendary Bentley Boys: Benjafield, Birkin, Davis, Rubin, Kidston and above all Barnato, the most famous of them all, a multi-millionaire South African diamond merchant. Gifted sportsmen, authentic connoisseurs of life’s many pleasures and mostly fabulously wealthy, the Bentley Boys raced first and foremost for honour, fired by a taste for challenges.”
I’m so excited about this; the next Le Mans is going to be absolutely wicked! Audi today introduced the latest variation of last year’s Le Mans winning R18, the R18 e-Tron quattro, marking the first AWD race car entry by Audi in a looooooong time. This is a complicated drivetrain, with electric motors driving the front wheels, and the diesel motor driving the rear wheels—-with variation between them, so the front wheels serve as stabilizers depending on when the electric motor is on and what direction the car is turning in. Surely this has added weight as well, but it will be fascinating to watch the TDI R18s running simultaneously with the e-tron R18 quattros! As with most street and prior race-spec’d Audis….the grip gained by quattro will likely make up for any weight difference.
Audi entered 3 cars into the 12 hours of Bathurst this year, and the #1 car came out on top after pouring rain and a kangaroo crossing the track! These R8 LMS specially put forth for Bathurst looks sweeeeet!
Photos and videos:
Official 2 part video:
src: Audi Sport