Lionel Chevalier and his team at Signatech are busy applying finishing touches to the Alpine rally version, which will be fielded by customer teams in the R-GT class of the World Rally Championship this year.
Chevalier, who is Signatech’s technical director, is confident of a good season for the A110 partly due to the car’s impressive win at Monza in December. This was the first time that an Alpine had won a category on the world rally stage since the announcement of the brand’s relaunch in 2016.
The Alpine rally version is based on the A110 road car. And just like other rally cars, it too has undergone significant modifications to meet the requirements of rallying.
“A rally car has to be much more powerful. Our main job is on the chassis and the engine specifications. In rallying, it’s very important to have a lot more wheel travel. That’s why we need to work on the suspension, damping and other things.
The other area that has been upgraded is the gearbox. “On a road car, the top speed can be quite high. However, in rally it’s maximum 200 km/h which requires shorter gear ratios,” he says. Chevalier says downforce is a key requirement for rally cars which is why they had to add a big rear wing to the A110.
The Renault-owned Alpine has a rich motorsport heritage. It claimed the inaugural World Rally Championship crown in 1973 and won the Le Mans 24 hours race in 1978.
Signatech Alpine tasted success in Le Mans again winning the famous race three times and claiming the World Endurance Championship (WEC) title twice in the LMP2 category in 2016 and 2019.
Signatech Alpine will be fielding a car in the Hypercar category in WEC starting this year.
But it’s not just in rally and endurance racing that the French sports car marque is witnessing a major push. Starting this year, Alpine will also feature in Formula One following Renault’s decision to rename its team as Alpine.