While this race car wearing Alpine's traditional livery is powered by Nissan's VK45 V8 engine, everything else about it is very French. Hopefully, that won't mean that it will surrender before the end of the 24th hour.
Entering both the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours and this year’s European Le Mans Series, Signatech-Alpine's endurance racing prototype will be driven by three young French talents.
24 years-old Nelson Panciatici went from GP2 to World Series Renault before getting into the FIA World Endurance Championship, 29 years-old Pierre Ragues is a Le Mans Series veteran, while 34-year old Tristan Gommendy was a development driver for both Audi and Ligier before getting his seat. The team's reserve driver is Paul-Loup Chatin, so no English words have to be used in the paddocks.
The car has an Alpine Oreca chassis (developed with some the help from Caterham maybe), and the 4.5-liter engine will throw 500 horsepower against 1,984 pounds through a six-speed sequential X-Trac gearbox for victory. Brakes are coming from Brembo, while the fluids and tires are all French, too, thanks to Total and Michelin. That's a 205 mph national flag right there, and we're glad to see Alpine back!
Photo credit: Renault