Signatech Alpine will continue with its second Alpine A470 Gibson into next month’s Six Hours of Nürburgring, the French team has confirmed, with the hope of competing in selected additional FIA World Endurance Championship races as well.
Team principal Philippe Sinault said that Nelson Panciatici, Pierre Ragues and Andre Negrao, the same lineup taking part in this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be back in the No. 35 car for the fourth round of the season.
Previously, the team’s second car was only confirmed for Le Mans and Spa, despite having been registered as a full-season WEC entry.
“It will definitely be there at the Nürburgring, and we hope to be continuing with this car for more races after the summertime,” Sinault told Sportscar365.
Sinault said that it’s “difficult to say” the chances of additional races beyond Nürburgring materializing at this stage.
“We started the program initially, we planned for the program to be two cars,” he said. “We tried to manage them this way.”
The team heads to Le Mans as defending LMP2 race winners, with Gustavo Menezes returning to the No. 36 lineup alongside Matt Rao and Romain Dumas, who fills in for regular driver Nico Lapierre due to his Toyota LMP1 commitments.
Sinault said the pressure for a repeat is there, but feels well prepared for the challenge.
“If you have pressure it’s good news, because if you don’t have pressure it means you made something wrong before,” he said.
“We manage as usual to be there, to be ready, to be able to have a look in the mirror before the race and say, ‘OK, I have done everything to be on the top,’ so we’ll see.”
He predicts reliability to be a key factor in the race, with the entire class running new-generation LMP2 machinery.
“Definitely, because the car is like a new car,” he said. “It’s like, if it’s for us, an LMP1.
“We have a lot of new things to manage, especially strategy, tires, will be the key point I think, and the weather will be important.”