While currently in its first season of the FIA World Endurance Championship, Signatech-Alpine has continued to evaluate its future plans in the globe-trotting championship, which could include an eventual move to LMP1. (En Français)
The two-time and reigning European Le Mans Series championship-winning squad, led by Philippe Sinault, has fought tough competition in this year’s LMP2 class with its single-car Alpine A450b entry for Nelson Panciatici, Paul-Loup Chatin and Vincent Capillaire.
However, the French squad is also clearly focused on 2017 and beyond, particularly with the arrival of new LMP2 regulations.
“We’re doing everything to continue the adventure in the FIA WEC next season but we will keep the Alpine A450b until the end of [this year’s] championship,” Sinault told Endurance-Info.
“It’s necessary that the story continues and that Alpine rolls. We will see what the regulations will allow us [for 2016 and beyond].”
The current Alpine A450b is effectively a re-badged Oreca 03R, and with Alpine not having been one of the four manufacturers selected for 2017, it’s unclear if the new prototypes will be allowed to be re-branded as in the current fashion.
Sinault admitted that depending on the situation, it could open the door for a step up to the top prototype class.
“We have looked and we will continue to look at what can be done, even for LMP1 non-hybrid, if this is the only way to have an Alpine, then subject will be studied.
“For three years, we have seen the blue [colors] and we want it to continue. That’s my desire and ambition.”
While waiting for the 2017 regulations to be finalized, nothing would prevent the team from campaigning an existing new LMP2 car over the next two season.
“If the choice was to move to an Oreca 05 chassis, this would then be a confutation of the current LMP2 [program],” Sinault said.