Signatech-Alpine presented their new endurance racing prototype at L’Atelier Renault in Paris, France. The n°36 Alpine will defend Alpine’s colours this season at the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours and this year’s European Le Mans Series (ELMS). The Alpine brand returns endurance racing after a 35 year gap. These efforts are part of the brands reemergence in preparation to the big launch in 2016 – the first sports car designed and built by Société des Automobiles Alpine-Caterham, the Alpine-Caterham collaboration borne out of Renault’s Formula One connection with Caterham.
The N°36 Alpine-Renault-Nissan is mashup of the best the three brands can bring to the table. The chassis is from Alpine while the V8 that powers the endurance racer is from Nissan, to be specific the type VK45 engine. The N°36 Alpine-Renault makes close to 500hp, can hit speeds of 330 kph and weighs under a ton at 900kg! The transmission duties are borne by a six-speed sequential X-Trac gearbox.
Société des Automobiles Alpine-Caterham’s CEO Bernard Ollivier and Philippe Sinault, Signatech-Alpine Team Principal, lifted the veil to reveal the N°36 Alpine in the stunning striking blue and orange livery.
The drivers who have been named to share the N°36 Alpine-Renault are Nelson Panciatici, 24, and Pierre Ragues, 29 who will be team up with 34-year old Tristan Gommendy for Le Mans 24 Hours. Another French youngster, Paul-Loup Chatin, has been chosen as the car’s reserve driver.
Renault hopes to replicate the success of the 1978 Le Mans 24 Hours-winning Alpine-Renault A442B raced by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Didier Pironi 35 years ago! The A442B, since it is one of the centrepieces of the ‘No Limit!’ exhibition which is currently running at L’Atelier Renault until April 7. L’Atelier Renault is located on Champs-Elysées, one of the busy avenues in Paris.