The historic Alpine name will return to the Le Mans 24 Hours this season, 35 years after its overall victory in the race with Renault (LEFT).
A link-up between the Renault brand, in which Caterham has had a 50 percent stake since late last year, and the French Signatech LMP2 team will be announced at Le Mans on Friday. The deal is likely to include Alpine branding replacing the badges of Renault sister marque Nissan on the V8 engine in team's ORECA 03 chassis.
Caterham boss Tony Fernandes raised the prospect of Alpine returning to Le Mans when his deal to take a share in the Dieppe-based company was announced last November.
He suggested that the new sports car to be developed by Alpine could have a future racing against the likes of Ferrari, Porsche and Chevrolet in the GTE class, but he also hinted that there could be other racing plans for the brand.
"There are lot of plans for other motorsport projects and things we can do together," he said. "We are working on plans that are good business and that showcase our companies."
Signatech boss Philippe Sinault, whose organization designs and builds the new Formula Renault 1.6 chassis, has expressed his aspirations to land a manufacturer deal since entering the sports car arena in 2009.
Signatech, which has one entry for Le Mans and will also contest the European Le Mans Series, received backing in 2011-'12 from Nissan, which placed winners of its PlayStation GT Academy with the team.
Alpine has a long history of involvement in motorsport, encompassing sports car racing, rallying and even Formula 1. It operated as the French manufacturer's out-of-house competitions department and developed the line of cars that led to the Alpine-Renault A442B Group 6 prototype that won Le Mans with Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jassaud in 1978.
Alpine also built a test mule in 1976 for Renault's forthcoming F1 entry and, most recently, assembled the 2010-generation Formula Renault 2.0 one-make open-wheel cars.
The Alpine name made a short-lived return to Le Mans in 1994. The tiny French Legeay team entered a lightly modified Alpine-Renault A610 and came away with a 13th place.