After securing top European Le Mans Series (ELMS) honours in 2013 and 2014, Signatech-Alpine has set its sights even higher in 2015 with a complete programme in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Drivers Nelson Panciatici and Paul-Loup Chatin will be joined by Vincent Capillaire.
The Alpine A450b will compete in the LM P2 class at all eight rounds of the 2015 FIA WEC, including the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 13-14.
Alpine’s return to motor racing was announced at the start of the 2013 and has since harvested a long list of top results, including ELMS titles in 2013 and 2014, as well as LM P2 podium honours at Le Mans in 2014.
With these two successful seasons under its belt, Alpine has decided to turn up its programme a notch in 2015 when the Alpine A450b will appear at all eight rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the highlight of which is the Le Mans 24 Hours.
“The world championship represents a whole new challenge,” says Alpine’s CEO Bernard Ollivier. “The context will be very different because our aim will be to make a name for ourselves in the LM P2 class. It will be a chance for us not only to keep learning but also to showcase our ability in parts of the world that are important for our brand. This programme will benefit Alpine’s image across the globe.”
“It’s a big step,” notes Philippe Sinault, Signatech-Alpine’s Team Principal. “Our involvement in the FIA WEC is a logical move which is in-line with the brand’s ambitions. Our aim will still be to win, but competing at world level calls for humility. With a calendar of eight races, including Le Mans, the key word will effectively be ‘endurance’. The regulations mean that we have had to revise our driver line-up, which is why Nelson Panciatici and Paul-Loup Chatin will be joined by Vincent Capillaire. He’s a very strong ‘silver’ driver who we’ve been watching for some time. He did a great job last year and we wanted to work with him. I believe these three French drivers form a tremendous team!”
Vincent Capillaire, who won an ELMS race in 2014 and who came fourth in the LM P2 class at last June’s Le Mans 24 Hours, will be Signatech-Alpine’s ‘silver’ driver, while Nelson Panciatici and Paul-Loup Chatin have been promoted to ‘platinum’ and ‘gold’ status respectively.
The world championship’s official pre-season test is scheduled for March 27-28 at Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France.
2015 FIA WEC calendar
April 12: 6 Hours of Silverstone (United Kingdom)May 2: 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)June 13-14: Le Mans 24 Hours (France)August 30: 6 Hours of the Nürburgring (Germany)September 19: 6 Hours of the Circuit of the Americas (Texas, USA)October 11: 6 Hours of Fuji (Japan)November 1:6 Hours of Shanghai (China)November 21: 6 Hours of Bahrain (Bahrain)