Model: Sparky Alpine A450
Release: #36 Le Mans 2015
eBay link: Sparky Alpine 1:64
Why I’m featuring it: Ahead of this weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours, Alpine’s parent company Renault has announced a much higher racing profile for its sports car company in the future. Not only will the Alpine brand succeed the Renault name in Formula 1, but after several years contesting the LMP2 category in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), for the 2021 season the Alpine name will run on a car in the LMP1 class. It all means that Alpine’s French blue racing colours will be a much more familiar sight in the years to come.
The subject of this post is a model of the #36 A450 (actually a Nissan-powered Oreca 03) run by Signatech in LMP2 at Le Mans in 2015, where it failed to finish. It’s Signatech that will run the LMP1 effort, too, based around an Oreca-developed, ex-Rebellion chassis and Gibson engine.
This is the only 1:64 LMP2 model in my collection and I’m struggling to think of another in this scale, although I’m sure someone will put me straight! As always with the Sparky releases, it’s very well done for the price, with intricate detail and a rolling chassis.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the results from Le Mans, where Signatech has an A470 (Oreca 07) going for the LMP2 win. Given that the old-spec LMP1s won’t be permitted in WEC beyond 2021, it’s possible we’ll see another new Alpine, this time built to the new regulations, at Le Mans in 2022. Can’t wait for that!
To finish, here’s the Sparky A450 with a classic Alpine A110 rally car from Norev. Gotta love that blue…