Signatech-Alpine’s second LMP2 car for the European Le Mans Series could be in doubt after not gaining a confirmed entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The reigning ELMS champions had planned for an expanded two-car assault in both the five-round championship and the around-the-clock endurance classic but has now allowed contracted driver Pierre Ragues to search for a new ride.
Ragues teamed with Nelson Panciatici last year, which included a win at the Hungaroring as well as claiming the drivers’ and teams championships.
“It was planned for me to embark on a campaign in one of the two Signatech-Alpine cars but unfortunately the Le Mans entry only listed one car,” Ragues said. “I remain a contracted Alpine driver but it is clear that we need to find another solution for me to race this season.
“I have to admit, though, that this information, which I only received on Feb. 13 when the entry list was confirmed, came as a complete shock.”
The No. 30 Signatech-Alpine A450 Nissan is currently second on the prototype reserve list with Panciatici as the nominated driver. Both Panciatici and Paul-Loup Chatin, meanwhile, are listed for the team’s current two-car effort in the ELMS.
“This is a very unfortunate situation for us because we had planned our season with two cars and Pierre as the head of one of them,” Sinault said. “Regrettably, we have only one entry for Le Mans, so we have to find a solution to help Pierre to get a race seat for 2014.”
It’s believed the team is closing in on a deal with former Indy Lights driver Oliver Webb, who drove OAK Racing’s Morgan-Nissan at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
Webb, however, is understood to bring funding, which could help keep the team’s program intact.