When he joined the Signatech-Alpine team at the start of the 2016 season, Nicolas Lapierre came armed with substantial experience in endurance racing. Capable of contributing significantly in terms of development, a stunning competitor and an inspired driver on the track, Nicolas has all the qualities needed to win.
Driven by a strong sense of team spirit, Nicolas strived to share his experience with his team-mates in 2016. Alongside him, endurance rookies Stéphane Richelmi and Gustavo Menezes made rapid progress and drove brilliantly all year.
Nine races, seven podium finishes and four race wins later, the no.36 Signatech-Alpine crew claimed the world title in the LMP2 class following a season full of verve and panache.
As both parties were keen to further pursue this adventure, Signatech-Alpine and Nicolas Lapierre have renewed their partnership for 2017.
With the introduction of a new generation of more powerful LMP2 prototypes, next season looks set to be a great challenge, giving all the more reason for Alpine and Nicolas to work together to defend their titles.
Bernard Ollivier, Alpine Deputy Managing Director: “They say that you shouldn’t change a winning team. And that’s exactly why we wanted to keep working with Nicolas Lapierre. We are fully aware of how much he contributed to the success we enjoyed in 2016. As well as making a difference on the track with some incredible overtaking moves, he shared his experience and knowledge with his team-mates, who were both new to the discipline. After winning everything this year, we have a duty to defend our titles with panache and continuing to work with Nicolas is one of the first steps towards achieving just that, so I’m delighted he has signed.”
Philippe Sinault, Signatech-Alpine Team Principal: “We’re very pleased that Nicolas Lapierre has renewed his faith in Signatech-Alpine. Building on the winning formula of 2016, this is a very important first step as we prepare for the coming season. Together, we are going to have a number of challenges to take on, starting with the introduction of the new LMP2 vehicles. Our Alpine A460s will be updated accordingly, supported as ever by the technical skills and knowledge of Oreca. As regards the crew for the no.36 car, unfortunately, we won’t be able to keep the same line-up. We would have loved to retain Stéphane Richelmi and Gustavo Menezes, but the regulations and the change in status for Gustavo – who becomes a ‘gold’ driver – means that we can’t keep both drivers in the same car.”
Nicolas Lapierre: “Obviously, I’m very happy to pursue my career with Signatech-Alpine. Prior to the 2016 season, I had already had a number of good memories with Philippe Sinault and his team. Twelve months later, and we have added another chapter to our shared history! We’re going to keep working relentlessly to get to grips with the challenges of the 2017 LMP2s as well as we can. I am also proud to keep competing on behalf of Alpine. 2017 looks set to be an intense year and I can’t wait to be involved in the events of the next few months.”
NICOLAS LAPIERRE IN BRIEF
Born on 2 April 1984 in Thonon-les-Bains
2016 FIA WEC – LMP2 1st
2015 FIA WEC – LMP2 5th
2014 FIA WEC 6th
2013 FIA WEC 4th
2012 FIA WEC 3rd
2010 Le Mans Series – LMP1 2nd
2009 Le Mans Series – LMP1 3rd
2009 Asian Le Mans Series – LMP1 3rd
2006 A1 GP 1st
2004 Formula 3 Euro Series 3rd
2003 Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix 1s