Alpine already competes in Formula 1, but starting in 2024 the French performance brand will compete in top-level endurance racing with an entry in the premier Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Its entry will be the A424 which last week completed its first test session on the racetrack, in this case at France’s Circuit Paul Ricard. The first test was to ensure the correct functioning of various vehicle systems, Alpine said.
The A424 covered just over 600 miles without significant issues, including in extreme heat, enabling the team to gather data for analysis ahead of the next test session which is scheduled for September. Taking turns behind the wheel were three of Alpine’s drivers for its A424 program: Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere, and Charles Milesi.
The A424 was first shown in June. It’s built to LMDh regulations, one of two car types eligible for the WEC’s Hypercar class. The class is also open to LMH race cars, with Balance of Performance rules used to even the playing field. It’s similar to how both car types are also eligible for the IMSA SportsCar Championship’s premier GTP class.
The A424 is powered by a turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6 and single electric motor. Under LMDh rules, the powertrain’s output is capped at 670 hp. LDMh rules also require teams to use donor chassis from one of four suppliers in an effort to keep a lid on costs. The A424 uses a chassis from Oreca.
Alpine is committed to at least four seasons of racing an LMDh in the WEC and plans to field two cars per season, working closely with its current endurance racing partner, Signatech.
Although LMDh cars are also eligible for the GTP class of the SportsCar Championship, Alpine doesn’t plan to tackle the North American series anytime soon. Instead, it is relying on its F1 program to build awareness in the U.S. ahead of a planned launch here in 2027 as a performance EV brand.
The season opener for the 2024 WEC is scheduled for March 2 in Qatar. Lamborghini will also join the fray next season with its SC63 LMDh.
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