Nissan-powered LMP2 will bring Renault and its Alpine brand back to Le Mans for the first time in 35 years.
Just last week we brought you rumors that Renault was preparing to return to Le Mans. Now the French automaker has officially confirmed its intentions. Renault’s return to endurance racing, however, won’t be undertaken under its own name. Instead it will help relaunch the Alpine sportscar sub-brand which it is developing in conjunction with its British partner Caterham. It will be the first time Alpine will compete at Le Mans since winning it outright in 1978 with the A442B.
While it will take another few years (2016, to be precise) to bring the new sportscar to market, the Alpine racing effort will kick off with a full program in the European Le Mans Series this year, including the headline 24 Hours of Le Mans. The effort will take the form of a new LMP2 racing prototype which will be powered by a 500-horsepower Nissan engine and fielded together with the Signatech team. The car will make its racing debut in the 2013 ELMS championship season opener at Silverstone next month, leading up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.