To celebrate its debut in Formula One, as well as its assault on a selection of other high-speed disciplines, Alpine is taking a look back at some of its iconic moments in racing and significant achievements spanning more than five decades.
For some, the earliest memories of Alpine are of the iconic A110 snaking along snowy Monte Carlo stages high in the Alps, the mountains that inspired the brand’s name. For others, it’s taking on the rocky trails of rallies like the Acropolis and then there’s Alpine’s single-seater racing days, Le Mans or even its rallycross program.
Alpine cars have long taken advantage of their celebrated agility and light weight construction to put French engineering on top, with highlights ranging from the inaugural World Rally crown in 1973 to victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours five years later.
Back on track
After a long spell away from motorsport, there was a desire to rekindle the flame and taste victory once more. In 2013, Signatech-Alpine Team Principal Philippe Sinault was tasked with leading the manufacturer’s triumphant return to the racetrack.
He explains: “Our adventure with Alpine dates back to late 2012. Groupe Renault approached us to explore ways of bringing the brand back into motorsport as part of its bid to relaunch the Alpine name. It didn’t take long for endurance racing to emerge as the perfect arena.”
Thirty-five years after its triumph at Le Mans, Alpine made its circuit racing comeback in 2013, with an LMP2 prototype.
Sinault describes how the winning instinct is embedded in Alpine’s DNA: “The commando-like mindset we have today is the same as that which helped Alpine to forge its rich heritage in motorsport, frequently running with fewer resources than its rivals but driven by creative thinking and gritty determination.”
On the victory trail
Alpine lost no time recovering its place at the top of the podium. After securing back-to-back European Le Mans Series crowns in 2013 and 2014, Signatech-Alpine stepped up to the World Endurance Championship in 2015, claiming the LMP2 crown in 2016 and 2019, and earning class wins at Le Mans in 2016, 2018 and 2019. This season, it has raised the bar further.
“After eight years of success in LMP2, we have set ourselves another challenge for 2021,” continues Philippe Sinault. “It’s the beginning of a new chapter for us because we’re going for overall victory!”
Alpine taking on several motorsport challenges
Beyond Alpine’s switch to the World Endurance Championship’s Hypercar class and its assault on Le Mans in August, Alpine faces numerous motorsport challenges this season, including participating in the Formula One championship for the first time.
Alpine has also re-entered rallying, in which it reaped its first success of the 2021 campaign half a century after the brand notched up its first Monte Carlo Rally victory. The triumph came from a privately entered Alpine A110 Rally, topping the R-GT order on this year’s winter classic, proving that the brand has lost none of its winning DNA.
Significant motorsport achievements
The International Championship for Manufacturers title in 1971
World Rally Championship title in 1973
Monte Carlo Rally wins in 1971 and 1973
Performance Index victory at Le Mans in 1964 and 1966
European 2.0-litre Sports Car Championship for Makes in 1974
Le Mans 24 Hours victory in 1978
The European Formula Renault Championship title in 1972
The European Rallycross Championship title in 1977