WEC: Signatech Alpine endurance team to move to LMP1 in 2021

The current Signatech Alpine LMP2 endurance team will make the move to LMP1 for the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship.

As the team hinted two years ago, the French squad will make the move to an LMP1 with a grandfathered Rebellion R13 LMP1 prototype.

This news aligns with the recent announcement that the Renault F1 Team will be renamed to Alpine in 2021.

The endurance team have eight years of LMP2 competition and two European titles under their belt, in addition to the 2019 Le Mans 24H win.

Patrick Marinoff, Managing Director at Alpine, said: “Motorsport is inseparable from the Alpine brand, whose passion for competition and sportsmanship is its DNA.

“The return to endurance in 2013 marked the beginning of a long-term adventure.

“After eight successful years against some of the best teams in the world, it is time to take a new step by challenging the constructors in the premier category as we will also do in F1.”

#36 Signatech Alpine Matmut at 6H Spa-Francorchamps, 2020 – Credit: FIA WEC / John Rourke

The ACO has authorised an LMP1’s involvement alongside the Le Mans Hypercars in 2021’s WEC Season 9, through the ‘Balance of Performance’ regulations that will be enforced in that top category.

The competitor will be an Alpine LMP1 prototype (Oreca), but will utilise a Gibson engine (from the Rebellion R13).

They also say how they will look at ‘potential synergies’ with its fellow F1 campaign.

Marinoff continued: “The latest changes to the 2021 regulations allow Alpine to demonstrate its technical know-how and racing experience in a competitive and fair field thanks to a fairly moderated investment ensured with various cost controls measures.

“Together, we intend to take the fight to well-established competition and to write new pages in the history of this great brand born out of competition that is Alpine and to put the French colours at the highest levels of motorsport.”

Philippe Sinault, Director of Signatech, gave his thoughts: “Alpine’s history is full of challenges.

“Few believed in us back in 2013, but we proved ourselves step by step, demonstrating that we were capable of excelling at the highest level.

“Today, this new challenge is in the same vein thanks to the opening of a unique window of opportunity.

“We will be the newcomers in the premier category and we intend to make life difficult for our rivals.

“Alpine’s confidence in this project is an immense source of pride for our teams and partners who joined this adventure in its early days.

“We approach this programme with the desire to perform well while having the means to work in an extremely qualitative manner in the context of the 2021 season.

“It’s an exciting and incredibly motivating sporting challenge and we want to be up to it so that Alpine can have an even larger presence in the history of French and world motorsport. “

Alpine Endurance Team will officially unveil its LMP1 prototype, livery designs and driver line-up in the approaching months prior to commencing its test programme.