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Alpine Confirms Unchanged Hypercar Driver Lineup

Alpine confirms 2022 season plans with unchanged driving crew and team setup…

Photo: MPS Agency

Alpine Elf Endurance Team has confirmed that it will run an unchanged driver lineup in the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Andre Negaro will continue to share the grandfathered Alpine A480 Gibson LMP1 car, which is due to go up against LMH machinery from Toyota, Peugeot and Glickenhaus in the top Hypercar class.

Signatech will continue to operate the Alpine program, with the two French organizations set to embark on their 10th year of racing together.

Signatech team principal Philippe Sinault told Sportscar365 last October that Alpine’s older-generation LMP1 prototype would remain on the grid for a second season under the Alpine badge. The car made its WEC debut back in 2018 as a Rebellion R13.

Sinault also indicated at the time that the driver lineup would likely stay the same, a proposal that has been validated by Wednesday’s program announcement.

Lapierre, Vaxiviere and Negrao finished third in the world championship standings last year and stood on the podium after all six races on the schedule.

Highlights included finishing third at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a pole position for Vaxiviere at Portimao, although Toyota swept all of the race victories with the GR010 Hybrid LMH in its first season of competition.

“As we enter our tenth year with Alpine, it was important for us to rely on the same trio to drive the A480 in the Hypercar category,” Sinault said.

“Andre, Matthieu and Nicolas are really embodying this project. They, like us, have done everything to continue our collaboration this year.

“We already managed to find a balanced operation with excellent interpersonal relationships, two key factors for success in endurance.

“They are fuelled with the spirit of our team and this is an ideal situation for a team as it gives us a lot of serenity and a fertile foundation for our next challenges. The trust is already established, which will also save us a lot of time.

“At the same time, the off-season was very short, but we worked hard to improve our package.

“With the arrival of new competitors in the category, the technical elements will likely evolve and we have done a huge amount of work to have an even better season than last year.

“We have to be ambitious in the elite category and we are doing our best every day to live up to this prestigious and exciting challenge.”

Alpine’s plans for the 2023 WEC season are unclear, with the ORECA-built A480 being phased out once cars built to the LMDh regulations arrive in the top class.

The Renault brand is developing an LMDh prototype that will debut in 2024.

“Alpine’s endurance program emphasizes our commitment and ambitions in motorsport,” commented Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi.

“By competing in Formula 1 and endurance, Alpine is one of the few brands racing in two FIA-sanctioned world championships and we will compete against prestigious rivals in FIA WEC again.

“Philippe Sinault’s teams have my confidence, with a proven track record in this sport and numerous successes that have already seen Alpine excel at Le Mans and on the international scene for almost ten years now.

“The challenge will be even greater this season, but I am convinced our team will once again live up to the expectations of Alpine enthusiasts.”

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.

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