Alpine is set to compete in its first-ever attempt at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb later this year and they’re building a one-off machine to do it. Partnering with French racing team Signatech, Renault’s Alpine subsidiary will take on the “race to the clouds” with a rally champion behind the wheel.
Alpine A110 GT4 Evo
The car in question will be a specially modified version of one of Alpine’s GT4 racecars, hence the “Evo” part of its name. Upgrades include extra wings to keep it on the ground and revisions to the A110’s engine to help it cope with the altitude on its way to the finish line 14,115 feet above sea level.
Expect the wings to be big, as downforce is vastly reduced by thinning air over the course of the 4720-foot climb.
The A110 GT4 Evo will remain two-wheel drive and will compete in the Time Attack 1 division alongside other purpose-built one-offs.
Raphaël Astier will pilot the GT4 Evo up the course, marking the Frenchman’s fifth appearance at the legendary hill climb. He also competed in the pentathlon at the 2004 Summer Olympics, which isn’t strictly relevant but is quite interesting. Astier won the 2022 FIA R-GT Cup in an A110 Rally and set a Time Attack 1 class record during his third Pikes Peak appearance.
“Pikes Peak is one of the most important events in motorsport. All of us have been amazed by the iconic footage of this ascent, and this dream naturally found its way into our teams after watching a documentary on Pikes Peak during a sleepless-night while we were testing in Spain. We are racers, and this challenge is ultra-attractive. We know all too well that this is a very different, specific exercise on a highly atypical course, somewhere between a hill climb and a special stage. But this only makes the sporting and technical challenge even more motivating. Above all, we want to put the Alpine name on this event, and this first-ever participation will allow us to see where we stand compared to the fierce competition in our category. While we are not aiming for the overall win, we know that we can count on the versatile and high-performance A110 GT4 Evo, adapted to the specificities of the event. We are also fortunate to have the support of our long-standing partners Michelin, as well as one of our finest ambassadors, Raphaël Astier, who has a wealth of experience to contribute to this project. We are delighted he has agreed to join us to continue the adventure after his international title with Alpine. This commitment also allows us to consolidate Alpine’s position as a brand having a vast motorsport footprint, including the three Formula 1 Grands Prix and the 1000 Miles of Sebring in the United States.” – Philippe Sinault, Managing Director of Signatech.