Published on March 25th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Alpine Introduces Latest A460 Prototype Race Car for 2016 WEC Season
Signatech-Alpine took the wraps off its two Alpine A460s, the latest prototype based on new LM P2 regulations due to come into force in 2017. The Alpine A460 features a new FIA-homologated chassis. Compared with its predecessor, it has a closed cockpit for enhanced driver safety and aerodynamic efficiency. It is the first closed-cockpit Alpine since the A220 of 1969.
The Alpine A460 is powered by the same 4.5-litre V8 as the A450b. This Renault-Nissan Alliance engine delivers more than 550 horsepower and drives through a six-speed sequential gearbox.
The two Alpine A460s were unveiled alongside the Alpine Vision and Alpine Célébration show cars and sport a blue and orange livery, the colours chosen by Alpine since its motor racing comeback in 2013. The cars will be distinguishable by national flags: French for the N°36 prototype, and Chinese for the N°35 prototype.
The latter (entered under the name of Baxi DC Racing Alpine) will be in the hands of Frenchman Nelson Panciatici – a cornerstone of the team since the programme’s early days in 2013 – and Chinese drivers David Cheng and Ho-Pin Tung. Formed by SR-Jackie Chan and David Cheng, DC Racing won several Asian Le Mans Series titles before joining forces for the 2016 FIA WEC campaign with Signatech-Alpine who will run the programme’s technical, sporting and logistical sides.
The N°36 car – the number which claimed back-to-back ELMS crowns in 2013 and 2014, as well as a top-three finish in the LMP2 class at Le Mans in 2014 – will be shared by three newcomers to the Alpine fold, namely Frenchman Nicolas Lapierre, the USA’s Gustavo Menezes and Monegasque Stéphane Richelmi.