Last month Alpine, in partnership with Signatech, revealed their new Le Mans race car called the N°36. Now they realized it wasn’t the best idea and are changing it to the more pronounceable A450. They just announced the ‘Alpine A450’ as the ‘official’ name of the car.
Signatech-Alpine will run the ‘LM P2’ prototypes in all five rounds of the 2013 European Le Mans Series, as well as June’s Le Mans 24 Hours. Driven by Nelson Panciatici and Pierre Ragues, it will make its track debut at the at Silverstone. The first round of the championship has attracted an entry of 25 cars, including 9 in the premier ‘LM P2’ class.
There is actually a philosophy behind the A450 name: “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.”
Signatech-Alpine’s Team Principal Philippe Sinault is eager to see his drivers in action: “I’m thrilled to be in the exciting last stages of preparing for the Alpine A450’s debut in the European Le Mans Series. The news of this project got a warm reception in France and elsewhere. We had very little time to prepare for the season but our efforts have already born fruit, thanks notably to our very close collaboration with Michelin. Our first tests were very constructive, but only the race itself can confirm whether our work has been good enough.”