European Le Mans Series on Facebook
The regulations
Back to the news

News

EUROPEAN GLORY FOR ALPINE

EUROPEAN GLORY FOR ALPINE 2013/09/30 17:41 EUROPEAN GLORY FOR ALPINE

Team Release

 

Alpine celebrates its return to motor racing by scooping the 2013 European Le Mans Series title!

The Alpine A450 of Pierre Ragues and Nelson Panciatici secured the 2013 ELMS crown thanks to a score of three podium finishes, including outright victory in Hungary, 35 years after the Alpine A442b's triumph at Le Mans in 1978 with Didier Pironi/Jean-Pierre Jaussaud.

Signatech-Alpine claimed fourth place at the final round of the 2013 championship at Circuit Paul Ricard, France, after a drama-packed race.

Alpine's renaissance was marked by the brand's return to motor racing and its maiden season was rewarded with the 2013 European Le Mans Series title.

Signatech-Alpine's programme for the season was confirmed on March 8 and featured two primary objectives: June's Le Mans 24 Hours and the European Le Mans Series. In the six months that have elapsed since that announcement, the Alpine A450 has produced a number of top performances, extending from a strong display at Le Mans – which earned the ESCRA Award for the best technical support – to the brand's first title success of the modern era.

Just two weeks after its landmark victory in Hungary, Signatech-Alpine lined up for the start of the 3 Hours of Paul Ricard with the ELMS title in its sights, 39 years after its last European crown with Alain Serpaggi, Gérard Larousse, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Alain Cudini.

This weekend's competition saw Pierre Ragues qualify the Alpine A450 on the second row before a cautious start to the race which led to the car initially trailing its chief rival for the championship. However, a lengthy pit stop for the latter enabled the Normandy-based driver to figure in fourth place during his 90-minute stint.

He then handed the car to his team-mate Nelson Panciatici who was forced to pit to change a defective steering wheel shortly afterwards. Overcoming that unscheduled stop, Nelson then successfully fought his way back up the order to clinch the title which came close to slipping from Alpine's grasp...

Indeed, the N°36 Alpine A450 climbed from seventh place to claim fourth overall after improving its best race lap once again and despite one last pit stop which enabled Panciatici to complete the three-hour race with the pressure off. Fourth place was sufficient to clinch the 2013 ELMS crown for Alpine.

“This title is a tremendous reward for a season which I believe was marked by panache, determination and professionalism,” observed Bernard Ollivier after the finish. “Ever since the start of the programme, we have been privileged enough to benefit from strong backing from the media and racing fans alike. We would like to dedicate this title to them. Perhaps it's just a first step…”

“I think we can say that Alpine is back,” observed Signatech Alpine's Team Principal Philippe Sinault. “This team is like a family; a family which has worked very hard. It wasn't easy because the programme got off to a late start and it took a little time to get everything into motion. It's been a highly emotional ride, too. I would also like to congratulate Paul-Loup Chatin on his races which have earned him the title in his category. He was a firm believer in our project and I hope to see him become part of our LM P2 programme next year. It's too soon to talk about 2014 but we are exploring the possibility of running two Alpine A450s at Le Mans as part of a broader programme.”

Philippe Sinault's associate Didier Calmels added: “This title is the perfect reward for the hard work and sacrifices put in by Philippe Sinault. He has been the perfect leader and has always put the team first. His passion has undoubtedly lifted this programme with Alpine.”

The team's drivers were also moved by the occasion, including Pierre Ragues who produced an impeccable season: “This is a very moving moment, and pretty incredible. We survived a few scares but the main thing is to have won the championship. This title showcases our level and we have made consistent progress. It's time to celebrate our success which Signatech-Alpine deserves 100 percent!”

Nelson Panciatici added: “It was a drama-filled race which turned out to be quite difficult. I pushed as hard as I could during my first stint to move back up the leaderboard, but the end of the race was easier. Perhaps we were a little fortunate today but our sole objective was always the title. Everyone has worked extremely hard on this programme and today we form a real family, so this is a fabulous recompense.”

Like his elders, Paul-Loup Chatin had a dramatic race at Le Castellet, but Alpine's ‘junior' driver succeeded in coming second in the LM PC class to clinch the category's title!

Tristan Gommendy was with Signatech-Alpine at Le Castellet to share the title celebrations. In addition to contesting the Le Mans 24 Hours with Pierre and Nelson, he carried out a significant amount of test work in the Alpine A450 in the course of the year.

News links

2014/09/17 15:57 Stroke of bad luck for the Thiriet by TDS Racing team! 2014/09/17 10:18 Puncture robs Team Russia of top six finish at Paul Ricard 2014/09/16 11:57 A race of contrasts for Greaves Motorsport in 4 Hours of Le Castellet 2014/09/15 20:33 Benoit Morand and his guys claim dominating first victory 2014/09/15 19:17 A second place equivalent to a victory for Alpine! 2014/09/15 18:07 A promising return for the Sébastien Loeb Racing... 2014/09/15 14:45 Victory in the “4 Hours of Paul Ricard” and first position in the standings 2014/09/15 10:40 JOTA Sport consolidates second place in European Le Mans Series 2014/09/14 10:15 Berthon Scores LMP2 Pole for Murphy while SMP Take Double in GTE and GTC 2014/09/13 13:26 Track Action Begins at Paul Ricard 2014/09/10 14:40 Changes to ELMS Balance of Performance for Paul Ricard 2014/09/10 13:52 Alpine on French soil to defend its ELMS crown 2014/09/09 14:25 Great expectations for Newblood by Morand Racing, home event of Pierre Ragues 2014/09/08 10:44 JOTA SPORT determined to take European Le Mans Series lead in France 2014/08/23 09:40 New car for Gulf Racing in ELMS 2014/07/22 12:02 The Thiriet by TDS Racing slowed down in Austria! 2014/07/21 11:05 Alpine reaches the summit in the Alps! 2014/07/20 23:15 Red Bull Ring LMP race report 2014/07/16 15:14 Alpine excursion decisive for the Alpine A450B! 2014/07/13 19:00 Pierre Ragues joins Newblood by Morand Racing for Christian Klien’s home race 2014/06/12 22:58 Larbre Competition ready for Le Mans 24 Hours 2014/06/02 11:43 Third-fastest time for Alpine as Le Mans build-up continues! 2014/05/19 23:10 Podium success at Imola puts Alpine back in the frame! 2014/04/20 15:00 Alpine encouraged by first points haul 2014/04/09 10:59 ELMS – A Word from The Champions 2 of 3 – Signatech Alpine 2014/03/20 18:30 In addition to defending the ELMS title it secured in 2013, Alpine has set its sights higher for this year's Le Mans 24 hours 2014/03/17 11:00 38 cars on the entry list for the first ELMS gathering of 2014 2014/03/07 18:15 Get ready for the ELMS test session at Le Castellet 2014/02/07 14:30 All the facts and figures on the 2014 European Le Mans Series circuits 2013/12/23 12:00 ELMS LMP2 - a true springboard to global endurance racing 2013/12/13 12:00 2013 European Le Mans Series: LMGTE Comes Alive 2013/12/11 12:00 ELMS 2013 - The GTC Class season 2013/12/09 18:10 ELMS Champions were rewarded in Paris 2013/11/20 17:38 Pierre Ragues visits Signatech headquarters as he looks towards 2014 2013/09/30 19:04 TOP 5 for Boutsen Ginion 2013/09/30 11:30 Champions! Two titles and a race win at Paul Ricard 2013/09/30 11:10 Anthony Pons and Soheil Ayari victorious, Gary Hirsch and Paul-Loup Chatin crowned champions ! 2013/09/30 11:05 NEVER STOP A PROSPEED COMPETITION WINING TEAM ! 2013/09/30 10:44 Murphy Prototypes wins ELMS 3 Hours of Paul Ricard 2013/09/29 15:10 Jota Sport secure hard-earned podium finish at Paul Ricard 2013/09/28 19:39 FINAL Report - Signatech Alpine Duo Take 2013 ELMS Title in Drama Filled Finale 2013/09/28 11:45 QUALIFYING: TURVEY AND JOTA MAKE IT 4 POLES FROM 5 EVENTS 2013/09/28 08:55 Question & Answer with Matt Griffin & Johnny Mowlem 2013/09/26 19:28 CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT TO THE CHEQUERED FLAG AT CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD 2013/09/25 09:37 A finale where the ORECA 03 have everything to play for. 2013/09/25 09:00 Murphy Prototypes has sights set on win at final ELMS round 2013/09/24 20:00 All titles up for grabs at Le Castellet ! 2013/09/24 18:48 Match ball for the Alpine A450