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Alpine - Signature - Toe In the Water or Shot In the Dark?

The announcement on Friday of the Alpine-Signature LMP2 effort had the web buzzing well before the announcement was actually made.

A famous make back at Le Mans, an object of Gallic pride, a home-grown hero programme once again to replace the gone but not forgotten Peugeot effort. Or is it?

What we have at present, with the greatest of respect to all concerned is an Oreca chassis (renamed as an Alpine), a Nissan engine and a coat of blue paint.

Brand is very important indeed, and the potential for Alpine, Caterham et al to produce something of real worth going forward is there for all to see with Le Mans providing THE most sensible stage to rebuild the brand upon.

For that brand to have true worth and true meaning however it must have substance.  The 2013 LMP2 programme is a toe in the water, nothing more - and it seems that there is little or no real commitment to more than that just yet.

Sensible industry observers have written of the potential for a future LMP1 project with the forthcoming small capacity Renault engine and/ or a GT programme featuring the promised Alpine/ Caterham joint road car project as its basis. 

Both have potential, but as yet there is no detail whatsoever of the plan moving forward aside from a single sound bite from Renault COO Carlos Tavares, who referred on Friday to “the start of a new, long-term, adventure.”

Here’s hoping that that adventure takes shape quickly, that we see some real Renault punch emerging and that an effort worthy of a very famous name is in the very near future.

In the meantime we wish the #36 effort all the very best of luck in the ELMS and at Le Mans, we’re delighted to see Philippe Sinault et al back for more after a very trying 2012 – and we applaud the hard work that must have been involved in getting this programme onto the starting blocks.

What we want to see now is real evidence of Renault activating that brand, and re-forging their links with endurance racing – They’ve been gone far, far too long!