Nicolas Lapierre will defend his FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 title with Signatech Alpine, with the Frenchman having been confirmed for a second season with the team.
Lapierre, who combined with Stephane Richelmi and Gustavo Menezes for four class wins and the world title, is the first of Signatech’s confirmed drivers for next year, in an expected two-car effort with Alpine-badged Oreca 07 Gibsons.
“Obviously, I’m very happy to pursue my career with Signatech-Alpine,” Lapierre said. “Prior to the 2016 season, I had already had a number of good memories with Philippe Sinault and his team.
“Twelve months later, and we have added another chapter to our shared history!
“We’re going to keep working relentlessly to get to grips with the challenges of the 2017 LMP2s as well as we can. I am also proud to keep competing on behalf of Alpine.”
Lapierre is expected to again undertake a parallel season in the European Le Mans Series with DragonSpeed and will kick off his year at Daytona in the American squad’s new Oreca-Gibson.
The remainder of Signatech’s lineup has yet to be announced, although both Richelmi and American standout Menezes are expected to remain within the team, but in sister cars.
Menezes currently leads the Asian Le Mans Series with the Jackie Chan DC Racing team, which Signatech operated as a second Alpine-badged car in the WEC this year with David Cheng, Ho-Ping Tung and Paul-Loup Chatin.
“We would have loved to retain Stéphane Richelmi and Gustavo Menezes, but the regulations and the change in status for Gustavo, who becomes a gold driver, will not allow us to keep both drivers in the same car,” team boss Philippe Sinault said.