This afternoon, Alpine revealed its challenger for the 2021 WEC season, which will compete in the Hypercar category.
Following their recent entry in Formula One, Alpine is now joining the new peak category of the World Endurance Championship: LMH. The team revealed the A480 this afternoon which is a Privateer LMP1 that is allowed to take part in the Hypercar category for 2021. The livery of the A480 reminds us a lot of the A521, as both cars are displaying the same Tricolore motive on their respective rear ends.
Alpine last won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1978 and is clearly going to try to claim the victory once again this year. Since its return to endurance in 2013 with LMP2, the Dieppe-based company has won the European Le Mans Series two times, the WEC twice, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times. Gathering all the experience acquired during this chapter of the team’s history, they will now attempt to win the most legendary endurance race in its highest category.
Laurent Rossi made Alpine’s ambitions in endurance really clear.
“And let me tell you that Le Mans 2021 will be the centerpiece of our engagement in the WEC this year.”
To engage a Hypercar in WEC, the French team had to deal with a lot of new and very complex aspects of a Hypercar that are for the most part not featured in an LMP2. Alpine’s endurance team boss, Philippe Sinault stipulated that the team had to engage new team members in order to improve their understanding of the car.
“Concerning the team, first of all, the greater complexity of the A480 Hypercar compared to the LMP2 that we have been operating for the last 8 years has led us to recruit new profiles: new engineers and technicians, with the aim of reinforcing the operations of the Electronic control system as computer management of the onboard system.”
The A480 is an old Privateer LMP1, the Rebellion R13, that was built on a carbon fiber chassis supplied by Oreca. It weighs 900kg and is powered by a 4.5L V8 Gibson engine producing 600 horsepower. However, the car might be submitted to a balance of performance as it is 100kg lighter than a ‘real’ Hypercar.
To fight Toyota and Glickenhaus on track, the team is going to be counting on Nicolas Lapierre who was involved in each Alpine’s victory in Le Mans, as well as Andre Negrao and Matthieu Vaxiviere.
The 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans is set to be epic. Five Hypercars should be aligned on the starting grid of the Circuit de la Sarthe on the 21st of August for a 24 hours battle that is promising to be legendary.