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Ragues Reunited with Signatech Alpine

Signatech Alpine Elf announces its full driver lineup for WEC LMP2 title defense…

Photo: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Signatech Alpine Elf has finalized its LMP2 driver lineup for its FIA World Endurance Championship title defense with the signing of Pierre Ragues.

Ragues, who won the European Le Mans Series with Signatech in 2013, fulfils the French squad’s requirement to have a Silver-rated driver.

He will share driving duties in the No. 36 Oreca-based Alpine A470 Gibson with Andre Negrao and Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1 reserve driver Thomas Laurent.

Negrao is the only retained member of the Signatech crew that won the last two editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the 2018-19 WEC title.

Nico Lapierre transferred to LMP2 debutant Cool Racing in the off-season, while Pierre Thiriet won’t return as Signatech’s designated silver competitor.

It was initially thought that Thiriet would return to the lineup, but the 30-year-old has stepped back from his driving role to focus on “personal and professional” duties.

Both Negrao and Laurent were confirmed at the team last month.

New signing Ragues currently competes in the European Le Mans Series with Duqueine Engineering and is now facing aa double-duty weekend when the series supports the first WEC event of the year at Silverstone in September.

The Frenchman clinched the 2013 ELMS title with Nelson Panciatici and went on to contest a handful of races with the Alpine operation at the start of the 2017 WEC.

“We would first like to thank Pierre Thiriet for his extremely important role in our recent victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the recapturing of our title in the WEC,” said team principal Philippe Sinault.

“We had the opportunity to keep Pierre Ragues by our side and things were done naturally. We share the same sporting and human values, which is both a time-saver and a guarantee of competitiveness.

“In addition, his versatile profile has always made him one of the best ambassadors of Alpine on and off-track.”

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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