LMDh will sit alongside LMH (Le Mans Hypercar) as a top class of both the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship, and will see its first season in 2023.
Alpine already competes in the LMH class of the World Endurance Championship, using a grandfathered LMP1, but will make the switch to LMDh in 2024. The French performance marque plans to field two LMDh cars, together with its current endurance racing partner Signatech, and will focus purely on the World Endurance Championship which hosts the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The cars will tip the scales at around 2,200 pounds and output around 680 hp. Balance of Performance rules will be used to keep LMDh and LMH cars competitive. Automakers committed to LMH include Ferrari, Peugeot, Toyota and Glickenhaus.
Alpine is committed to at least four seasons of LMDh and will partner with chassis supplier Oreca for the effort. To keep a lid on costs, teams competing in LMDh need to use a chassis from one of four suppliers. Oreca is one of four chassis suppliers selected for LMDh. The others are Dallara, Ligier and Multimatic.
Alpine will use its own power unit, developed using knowledge gained from its Formula One program. Alpine is both a constructor and power unit supplier in F1, and plans to stay there.
“By competing in both Formula One and endurance, Alpine will be one of the rare brands to be present in the two key disciplines of motorsport,” Laurent Rossi, Alpine's CEO, said in a statement. “We will make the most of Formula One and endurance through technical and technological synergies to gain the advantage over prestigious opponents."
The first race for LMDh will be the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona, the opening race of the 2023 IMSA SportsCar Championship.
Alpine's entry in LMDh in 2024 will coincide with the launch of the first of three electric cars the French marque is developing for the road. One of the three is an electric sports car being developed with Lotus.