Forty-three years after the outright victory of the Alpine A442b in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Alpine returns to the premier category of Endurance racing
FIA WEC LMP2 World Champion in 2016, 2019 and triple winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Alpine Elf Matmut Team will join the 2021 championship in the Hypercar category
The Alpine A480 n°36 will be entrusted to a squad of Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Matthieu Vaxivière
Previous LMP2 World Champions in 2016 and 2019, the Alpine Elf Matmut team has decided to take it to the next level in 2021 by entering the Hypercar category, the premier class of the 2021 FIA WEC Championship. The Alpine, named A480, will be emblazoned with its favourite number, #36, with which the team won the 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 category three times in the last five years.
The Alpine Elf Matmut Team will count on the talent of its race team and three drivers in its first ever season in the premier class to achieve its modest objectives and create an element of surprise, with Frenchman Nicolas Lapierre, champion in 2016 and 2019, will be joined by Brazilian André Negrão, with whom he has shared many successes within the Alpine team.
The crew will be completed by Frenchman Matthieu Vaxivière, an experienced endurance competitor with four entries in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, including two podiums in the LMP2 category in 2019 and 2020.
The trio will have only one objective: to deliver maximum performance in each of the six rounds of the FIA WEC Championship and finish as high as possible.
The crew of the Alpine A480 n°36 will be on track on March 30-31 at the Circuit de Portimão (Portugal) for the official FIA WEC test session, before taking part in the first race on April 4 on the same circuit.
"I am very happy that Alpine has decided to enter the top category of the World Endurance Championship. This is a category I know well, having competed for five seasons fighting for podiums on circuits all over the world. The Alpine team is, without hesitation, a family with whom I have achieved greatest success and I have no worries that Philippe Sinault and the members of his team will be able to prepare a car that will allow us to play a leading role from the very first races of the season."
André Negrão "Having won everything in the LMP2 category in recent years, it was logical that Alpine decided to take up the challenge of entering the FIA WEC premier class. I am proud and happy that Alpine has decided to trust me once again to represent this brand that speaks to so many motorsport enthusiasts, especially in my country, Brazil, where Alpine has successfully manufactured and marketed cars in the past."
"I'm already looking forward to the first tests to start working with my new team-mates, the team and to discover the car. The reputation of Philippe Sinault's team is well established, and I am confident that they will do an exceptional job in the 2021 season. Driving for a brand like Alpine is a high source of motivation for me and I will do my utmost to honour the already very rich list of achievements of the A Arché in Endurance."
Laurent Rossi, Chief Executive Officer of Alpine: "With our arrival in Formula 1 and our involvement in the top category of the World Endurance Championship, the Alpine brand will benefit from a new exposure thanks to motorsport. I trust Philippe Sinault for the choice he has made as his experience and track record in this discipline speak for themselves. I note that two of the three drivers selected have already made Alpine's colours shine at the Le Mans 24 Hours and have given our brand a second LMP2 championship title in 2019. I am sure they will be able to create a good dynamic with Matthieu Vaxivière that will meet the expectations of Alpine enthusiasts around the world."
Philippe Sinault, Team Principal of Alpine Elf Matmut Team "Today we are presenting a new trio of drivers who are up to the challenge Alpine wants to take in the Hypercar category. We have chosen drivers who complement each other in terms of experience, and whose personalities will create a good team spirit in all circumstances. Nicolas and André know each other well and have demonstrated their ability to work together for the team’s benefit, and Matthieu Vaxivière quickly became obvious as his human qualities and speed are recognised in the paddock. I can assure you that our three drivers are as motivated as ever to make Alpine's colours shine from the very first laps of the A480 in the FIA WEC championship."
Information & Photos: Alpine Sportscars Press Office