Connect with us


Alpine Confirms Driver Lineup for Transition Season in LMP2

Vaxiviere, Negrao remain in Alpine WEC lineup for French team’s transition season in LMP2…

Photo: Alpine

Alpine has confirmed both driver lineups for its single-season return to the LMP2 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship after two years in the Hypercar ranks.

The Signatech-run squad is fielding a pair of Oreca 07 Gibsons, badged as Alpine A470s, for one year as it transitions between its grandfathered LMP1 car, which is no longer eligible for the WEC, and a new LMDh prototype developed in collaboration with ORECA.

Two of Alpine’s Hypercar championship runners-up from last season, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Andre Negrao, will continue with the team but in different entries.

Nicolas Lapierre, meanwhile, is absent from the driving squad but will focus on LMDh testing work along with his duties as team principal of Cool Racing.

Vaxiviere will form part of an all-French lineup in the No. 36 car alongside 2021 WEC LMP2 class champion Charles Milesi and experienced Silver-rated driver Julien Canal.

Milesi joins Alpine from Richard Mille Racing Team, which also had its now-defunct LMP2 program run by Signatech, while ELMS regular Canal is back in the WEC for the first time since 2017 with Vaillante Rebellion.

The No. 35 Alpine-badged Oreca will be driven by Negrao, Olli Caldwell and Memo Rojas.

Caldwell is set for his WEC debut after two seasons in FIA Formula 2. He tested for Signatech just after the end of the 2022 season in Bahrain and is an Alpine junior driver.

Rojas is the designated Silver-rated driver in the lineup. The Mexican is a two-time ELMS LMP2 champion and has made seven appearances at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but has never raced full-time in the world championship.

In addition to confirming the six full-time drivers, Alpine has named Reshad De Gerus as its reserve for the 2023 season. The French prospect shared a Duqueine Team Oreca with Rojas in ELMS last year.

“We are racers, and it was unthinkable for Alpine not to be part of the 24 Hours of Le Mans centenary celebrations,” said Alpine WEC team principal Philippe Sinault.

“We had to put together two driver lineups, both homogeneous and coherent, whilst considering the specific LMP2 rules, notably with a Silver driver in each car. We are proud of our trios mixing experienced drivers with great potential.

“Everyone knows the qualities and skills of Matthieu, Andre and Charles, while Julien’s experience speaks for itself as does Memo’s track record.

“We are also fully committed to leading Olli to a successful transition to Endurance, as we have done with André and many others in the past.

“Ultimately, LMP2 is a category that has evolved tremendously in our two-year absence with a complete redefinition of the technical regulation framework on aerodynamics, engines and tires.

“There is a superb field with an incredible level of competition awaiting us, but we are looking forward to the challenge and can’t wait to get to Sebring.”

Before stepping up to Hypercar in 2021, Alpine was a successful LMP2 outfit and clinched WEC class titles in 2016 and 2018-19 as well as three 24 Hours of Le Mans victories.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

Click to comment

More in FIA WEC