Philippe Sinault, 2021 Spirit of Le Mans
The Spirit of Le Mans Trophy honours the men and women who embody the values of endurance racing: dedication, commitment, teamwork and sporting endeavour.
The recipient of the 2021 award is Philippe Sinault, Team Manager of Alpine Elf Matmut, entered this year in the Hypercar class and ever-present in the discipline since 2009.
Sinault, founder of the Signatech team, sums up his view of motor racing and the reasons for his success with these wise words: “An individual, anonymous approach never results in victory. Winning requires hard teamwork and effective communication.” Sinault is now living his dream at the head of a structure that recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.
He has brought on board around 40 highly motivated people to pull in the same direction. Although Sinault started out as a driver, he soon found himself at the helm of a fulfilling team venture. Signatech has since established itself as a talented operational team commanding widespread respect in endurance circles.
Since 2009, it is a name that has become inextricably linked with endurance and the 24 Hours of Le Mans – even more so since it hooked up with Alpine in 2013. Together, they have won the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in the last five years. This year, they are taking their partnership to a new level. The French manufacturer has decided to enter the Hypercar class, the new top tier in the FIA WEC including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Alpine and Signatech will challenge Toyota Gazoo Racing and Glickenhaus Racing for outright victory at this year’s race on 21-22 August. Sinault will receive the Spirit of Le Mans Trophy at the French classic, following in the footsteps of Amato Ferrari of AF Corse, the 2020 winner.
Philippe Sinault, Team Manager of Alpine Elf Matmut: I am extremely proud that I have been nominated as 2021 Spirit of Le Mans. It’s a fabulous acknowledgement for the 55-year-old child that I am! I should say ‘We have been nominated’ as I must share this award with my entire team and our partners. Spirit of Le Mans means sharing human and sporting values. Philosophical values even. What really makes me proud is having managed to create and pass on strong, shared emotions that so often lay the foundations for success. It’s a huge honour – thank you!
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: Philippe Sinault truly embodies the values upheld by endurance and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and I’m delighted that the Spirit of Le Mans Trophy will be awarded to him this year. His dedication, leadership and analytical skills are admired throughout the paddock. For 2021, Alpine has decided to take a step up to the top class in the discipline. It is a huge challenge, but Philippe is undoubtedly the best person to tackle it.