Connect with us

WeatherTech Championship

Andretti in Talks With Alpine for Possible LMDh Effort

Andretti Autosport could run Alpine LMDh effort in addition to Formula 1 plans…

Photo: MPS Agency

Andretti Autosport is in talks with Alpine for a possible LMDh effort alongside its ambitions of entering Formula 1 in 2024.

Revealed in an exclusive interview with Mario Andretti by David Land, the motorsports legend stated that his son, Michael, is working on a return to top-level sports car racing in addition to its much-publicized F1 plans.

Mario confirmed that a “formal agreement” has been made with Renault for a F1 engine supply deal, which has apparently opened the door for opportunities on the sports car front as well, potentially in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Andretti Autosport, which currently fields a LMP3 entry for Jarett Andretti, has long been known to be evaluating a return to factory-backed prototype competition.

It’s last manufacturer-supported effort came in the 2007-08 American Le Mans Series seasons with Acura, with Andretti having been pursuing opportunities with multiple manufacturers since.

“We have a lot of friends there in Formula 1,” Mario Andretti told Land. “It’s one big family. Michael has been obviously talking with that group, Alpine, to field a sports car program and so on and so forth.

“There’s a lot of moving parts here. All of it works, ultimately.

“I think we’re reliant on a lot of good people.”

Alpine’s LMDh program, which is confirmed to debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2024, could be extended to IMSA although it would have to come under different branding.

With Alpine or parent company Renault not currently selling cars in North America, it would need to align with a different OEM to meet IMSA’s requirements.  

Nissan could be a possible candidate, given the Japanese manufacturer’s global alliance with Renault.

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi told Sportscar365 last October that a potential IMSA effort is not part of the overall “financial equation” of the program but has been open to the idea.

“Alpine wants to be competitive in WEC and at Le Mans,” he said. “We have the ambition to have customers. If a team wants, it won’t be a problem to run an Alpine in IMSA.

“The sooner we have customers, the faster we will make the program profitable.”

Andretti Autosport is known to have pursued multiple LMDh deals in the past, most recently with Audi, which has since ruled out a full-works program in the WeatherTech Championship for its car’s launch next year.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

Click to comment

More in WeatherTech Championship