Luc Alphand puts Veloce Racing through its pre-season paces
Veloce Racing has arrived in Dubai ahead of the Extreme E Season 3 curtain-raiser next weekend (11-12 March) as the UK-based squad readies itself for its biggest campaign yet under the watchful eye of Luc Alphand.
The former World Cup alpine ski racer turned racing driver was appointed Veloce Racing's Team Principal ahead of the Season 2 finale in Punta del Este Uruguay, where the team came out as top qualifiers for the first time with Molly Taylor and Kevin Hansen.
The exciting new line-up took that pace into Finals Day, securing a race win on debut in Semi-Final 1 before finishing the Uruguay Natural Energy X Prix in fifth – marking Veloce's best result of the campaign and a promising debut from Hansen and Taylor.
As the British squad searches for its first win in the all-electric off-road series, they are in more than capable hands. Alphand made his breakthrough with his first skiing World Cup in 1995, going on to take the overall downhill title three years in a row.
In 1997, the Frenchman won the World Cup overall title by collecting points in just two of the speed disciplines - Downhill and Super G - marking a unique achievement in World Cup history.Retiring from skiing that same year, Alphand turned his attention to auto racing. Taking on the Nissan Micra Stars Cup, followed by the European Le Mans Series and FIA GT Championship, Alphand set his sights on off-road racing in the Dakar Rally.
Having made his Dakar debut in 1998, Alphand worked his way up to the runner-up spot in 2005 before taking the title in 2006 - collecting two stage wins along the way. The following year Alphand returned in style, seizing another second-place finish, and would continue in the Dakar until 2009.
Veloce Racing's Team Principal brings a wealth of experience, both in racing and in what it takes to win, as the team takes on its third Extreme E campaign, which gets underway next weekend in NEOM, Saudi Arabia (11-12 March).Veloce's drivers are currently completing a comprehensive programme put in place by Team Principal Luc Alphand. Molly Taylor and Kevin Hansen are putting the kilometres on the clock, taking in the rough and rocky terrain amid hot desert conditions in preparation for the challenges of the opening X Prix.
Luc Alphand, Veloce Racing Team Principal, commented: “At the Season 2 finale we gave ourselves a test when we signed new drivers and a new Team Principal, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was happy to see the championship and how it works, and I can say that I really enjoyed my first race.
"The team comes with a great spirit and behind the scenes everyone has a great connection. I think it is really important in sport to be connected by a goal as we try to do our best, and part of my role is to get that confidence into everybody.
"The format changes this year will be a big challenge. It will mean more driving for Kevin and Molly, more work for our mechanics, and I think the season looks very exciting."
Kevin Hansen, Veloce Racing, said: “It is great to get back in action with Molly and Veloce Racing. We're just days away from the first Extreme E race weekend so it was important to work through a solid programme of driving on the dunes here in Dubai to get a feel for what is heading our way in the Desert X Prix."
Molly Taylor, Veloce Racing, said: “This is an extremely productive time for the team. It felt great to get together ahead of the Extreme E season opener next week, making sure that our bodies and minds are in the right place to hit the ground running in Season 3. We know we have the pace, and now we've got ten races to show what we're made of and put in those consistent performances needed to win a title."