Doohan discussing WEC programme in 2024
By Mat Coch
Thursday 28th September, 2023 - 5:00am
Jack Doohan looks set to campaign for Alpine in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) next season as he waits for an opportunity in F1.
The Australian is reserve driver for the Anglo-French operation in Formula 1, a role he looks set to retain – or at least share – for 2024.
In addition to that, it is looking increasingly likely that he’ll see action as part of the marque’s LMP2 programme.
“I’ve only been speaking about this in the last couple of days,” Doohan said when asked by Speedcafe about the prospect of a WEC drive.
“That’s an amazing platform that Alpine have.
“The goal is Formula 1, that’s where I want to be, but if I have to take time away and potentially up the endurance avenue to get to my end goal…
“Honestly, I will do anything that I have to, to get to Formula 1. But to be able to go to WEC, be with Alpine and sort of learn even more about potentially stuff that can be valuable coming back to Formula 1, then that would be awesome.”
A drive in the World Endurance Championship, along with commitments in F1, would preclude his return to Formula 2.
Last year, Alpine raced the A480 in the Hypercar class (originally an Oreca-built Rebellion R-13 LMP1 machine that had been grandfathered down), finishing second in the manufacturers’ championship to Toyota with wins at Sebring and Monza.
This year, its programme has been limited to fielding an Oreca in LMP2 but has plans to return to the championship’s premier class with the A424 Beta.
Based on an Oreca LMP2 chassis, it will sport a 3.4-litre six-cylinder turbocharged engine and the common rear-axle hybrid season used by all LMDh cars.
Doohan could be joined in the programme by Victor Martins, who is also part of the Alpine Academy and, like the Australian, campaigning in Formula 2 this season.
“I think the idea is to see how both of them will really keep growing and keep improving,” said Bruno Famin, Alpine’s new CEO, when asked about Doohan’s future by Speedcafe.
“They were both testing the A521 [last] week. We are trying to give them as much experience as possible.
“We will see what we can do with Jack, of course, but maybe also with Victor, but they are part of the family.”
In his role as F1 reserve driver, it is expected Doohan will perform the young driver outings mandated under the sport’s rules.
With two such outings required, Abu Dhabi is the most logical of the events remaining, while Doohan took part in opening practice at last year’s Mexico City Grand Prix.