The new reference categories of the WEC and IMSA, LMH and LMDh, are attracting more and more interest from enthusiasts and manufacturers. At the dawn of what will be the first appearance in the race for the Hypercars on the occasion of the 89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, obviously rumors, rumors, news and curiosities do nothing but increase their speed and their diffusion.
The last, in chronological order, links the name of Fernando Alonso to that of Alpine in the queen category of endurance careers. The French manufacturer of the Renault group has declared that it has a serious study in the pipeline for participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023 or 2024, without having yet indicated in which category it wants to engage.
In all likelihood, Fernando Alonso’s name should be among those destined to hold a wheel from an Alpine LMH or LMDh in his hands on that occasion. The Spaniard, who returned to Formula 1 in 2021 with Alpine – in a rebranding operation of the Enstone team with which he had already won two world titles, in 2005 and 2006 – has two triumphs on the Circuit de la Sarthe, both with Toyota, in 2018 and 2019.
The name of Alonso is mentioned by one of the people most entitled to do so: it is Laurent Rossi, Managing Director of Alpine. “Fernando is one of Alpine and Renault’s greatest ambassadors in motorsport, it would be natural for us to go beyond F1, even if only God knows how much Formula 1 means to him. I have to say, though, I don’t think F1 can overlap with the commitments in covered-wheel cars, ”Rossi reveals to Motorsport.com.
# 36 Alpine Elf Matmut Alpine A480 – Gibson Hypercar, André Negrão, Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere
Photo by: Marc Fleury
“If we were to commit ourselves to endurance races in the future, having him in the team with us would be the ideal solution,” continues Rossi.
Alpine is currently looking for possible open doors to continue to have a future in the top class category linked to endurance, since the A480 LMP1 project is in all likelihood not destined for renewal for 2022.
“It could be both LMH and LMDh: we are seriously considering making a prototype,” Rossi reveals. “I can’t go into too much detail because there are elements to decide and I don’t want to reveal too much”.
“Between now and the end of the year, we will have a precise idea of the situation in which we will work: in which category to focus and with what timing first of all. Obviously we must take into account the economic situation and understand what we need to commit to the highest levels of endurance races according to the chances of victory ”, concludes Rossi.