11 de abril de 2013

Alpine A450 coming to Le Mans!

Five days ago, Renault announced that it would participate in the most famous endurance race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and also in the five events of the 2013 European Le Mans Series. The first race of this series will take place on April 12-13, at the Silverstone circuit in the United Kingdom.

The name A450 was chosen as a tribute to the Alpines that raced in the 70s, the time when they were most successful, achieving seven class wins, and more important, one outright victory in 1978 with the Alpine A442B driven by Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussau.

This time the drivers will be Nelson Panciatici and Pierre Ragues. The third driver needed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans is Tristan Gommendy.

The engine is source by Nissan and has 507PS (500hp or 373kW), so this LM P2 prototype has more than enough power to take on the big fishes. Besides Nissan, Michelin, Total and Signatech (Which is the team running the Alpine) have all helped in the creation of this race car.

Carlos Tavares, Renault’s Chief Operating Officer, had a few words to say:

Alpine’s return to motor racing marks the beginning of a new adventure for this legendary brand,

Although our focus is very much on the future, with the development of a new car which is due to reach the market in 2016, we have not forgotten Alpine’s extraordinary heritage."

The name Alpine A450 stood out as a natural choice for this prototype which will contest the ELMS and the Le Mans 24 Hours. It pays tribute to the A441, A442 and A443 which raced at and – in the case of the A442B – won at Le Mans in the 1970s. The figure ‘50’ symbolises the fiftieth anniversary of Alpine’s first official entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours.

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Source: renault