This is heading to 2013 Le Mans in the LMP2 category! I’m so excited my Alpine neurons are spazzing out.
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
Carlos Tavares (Renault CEO) has been talking some details about the resurrection of Alpine! It seems it will be a completely new car, and NOT the A110-50 that was shown several months ago. Should be very, very interesting.
My bet is that Lotus is going to be involved in this….as Lotus and Alpine have a history of collaboration.
“We could have given our engineers €50 million and told them to make the best of it. But that would probably have produced a mediocre car because it’s not much money to play with. Alpine has a great history, and we want to make emotional cars that will be true to that.”
“He won’t yet reveal the mechanical layout but admits it is unlikely to be rear-engined, as the A110 was.”
“Convenience is an important part of modern packaging,” Tavares says, “but we are not inclined to compromise too much. This is a car that must appeal to the emotions. If you refine such a car too much, it loses its special character.”
The production Alpine will bear little relation to the Alpine concept from earlier this year that incorporated the styling of the DeZir concept on to a Mégane Trophy racer.
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
Since Fiat is on its way back to the US market, using Chrysler like human traffic to do so—i’m more excited about the return of Alfa Romeo. FOR YEARS now, we’ve been hearing rumours about Alfa’s return to the US. Since 2006 or so, we’ve been holding our breath….but now it seems it would be practical with a foundation built to support the return of Alfa.
The 8C has already been on sale here for several months, but what else will they bring? The latest sources are saying the 149 (replacement for the Alfa 147) will also be making a move stateside, possibly renamed as the Milano.
I think that would be THE wisest car to bring to the US market. Affordable, classy, and a true competitor to the VW Golf, Audi A3, and the next BMW 1-series (out in 2010/2011 probably). If they price it in the low $20k range, keep the styling as shown in the above photo rendering, and bring the old-school Alfa Romeo attitude with it—-i’m pretty sure Alfa Romeo can bounce back in a very positive way in the US market.
COME ON ALFA! Bring it….
(photo sourced from: http://www.clubalfa149.it/en/)
1971, to be more specific. Isn’t it amazing how far NASCAR has fallen? I can’t even bear to watch it anymore….full of country music, cowboy hats, media, music videos, cheesy collage videos—–the horror of it all. I grew up watching NASCAR on those weird lonely saturday afternoons in the early-mid 80s, I remember rooting for Richard Petty, because he had the coolest looking car, a blue and red #43 Pontiac Grand Prix! fantastic.
Maybe one day NASCAR will come back to being cool again, maybe when carmakers don’t just tack on those cheesy ‘shells’ of production cars on top of em…maybe when it gets it soul back….if it ever does.