Alpine closes LMP2 adventure in Bahrain
cars of the legend for car enthusiasts, concept cars, super cars, collections and much more on cars of the legend.
Alpine closes LMP2 adventure in Bahrain
Alpine closes LMP2 adventure in Bahrain
- Initiated in 2013, the successful epic of Alpine Elf Endurance Team in LMP2 ended this Saturday evening at the Bahrain International Circuit.
- Seventh and tenth at the finish of the 8 Hours of Bahrain, the crews of the brand with the A arrow were able to show resilience to glean new points at the end of a frustrating race.
- Alpine is now focusing on the 2024 season, where it will make its comeback in the premier category of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Alpine Elf Endurance Team was hard at work on Monday for its last entry in the LMP2 category of the FIA WEC. After two and a half days of revision and preparation, the Alpine A470s took to the stage on Thursday for the first tests, marked by a sandstorm and thunderstorms at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Immediately on pace, Philippe Sinault’s men completed their program despite the vagaries of the weather and entrusted the qualifying exercise to Charles Milesi and André Negrão. Author of a superb effort, the Frenchman signed the team’s best performance this season in the exercise by placing second in a session with tiny gaps. At the same time, the Brazilian had to be content with eleventh place.
On Saturday, shortly before noon, Matthieu Vaxiviere and André Negrão took the wheel of the Alpine A470s. A nervous peloton was released after two formation laps and Matthieu Vaxiviere was forced to carry out an emergency maneuver to avoid collisions in the first corner. Returning to the track, however, the Frenchman was involved in an incident and fell to tenth position with a damaged front right hood. For his part, André Negrão did well to climb to fifth place. Put to the test under high temperatures, the team’s two cars saw their drivers redouble their efforts during a complicated double stint. Memo Rojas and Julien Canal took over from them to do their part of the work before alternating stints with Olli Caldwell and Charles Milesi.
As darkness fell in Bahrain, both crews continued to draw on their resources. Despite a five-second penalty for an infraction in the pit lane for the No. 36, the Blues showed resilience by refusing to give up. In the sixth hour of the race, André Negrão and Matthieu Vaxiviere took the wheel again to continue their teammates’ offensive before exchanging the wheels with Olli Caldwell and Charles Milesi. Although their work allowed them to be among the fastest in the final sprint, the gap widened by the leaders proved insurmountable.
Charles Milesi and the #36 A470 took the checkered flag in seventh position with the fastest lap of the LMP2 race, three places ahead of the #35 and André Negrão. Despite this frustrating result, Alpine leaves its successful adventure in LMP2 with its head held high with three world titles and two European crowns. In total, the brand with the A arrow has achieved thirteen victories, including three at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, thirty-six podiums and seven pole positions in sixty races contested within the category since its return to the world of Endurance in 2013.
The Alpine and Signatech teams will now take advantage of the winter to prepare their return to the premier Hypercar category with the Alpine A424, whose competition debut will take place in Qatar from February 24 to March 2, 2024.
“It was once again a race of ups and downs. However, it was nice to experience another year with Alpine despite results falling short of our expectations. I had a superb start to move up from eleventh to fifth place, but we suffered in terms of pace and tire degradation. We managed to regain performance at the end, but it was already too late to hope for anything. However, I would like to thank everyone on the team and let’s wait to see what the future holds! »
“The season is now over and I would really like to thank the Alpine family and the entire team for welcoming me into their Endurance activities. It was a great experience to compete alongside such experienced drivers for my first full season in the discipline, as was seeing the finish at Le Mans. I learned a lot and feel like I still have a lot to learn. A big thank you to each member of the team for this year. »
“It was a long season with a lot of positive points to remember, but also other more mixed ones as always in motorsport. It was a pleasure to drive with André and Olli this year and I am proud to have been part of the Alpine family, a great French name in racing, rich in history and enjoying a great tradition in Endurance. Everyone within the team has been fantastic despite a difficult and extremely competitive campaign in LMP2. We sometimes struggled to fight for the positions we were aiming for, but our progress was encouraging. Congratulations to the winning crews in Bahrain and a big thank you to Philippe, his troops and my teammates. »
“We had a difficult start to the season for our return to LMP2, but we consolidated our foundations until a solid and consistent race at Le Mans. We confirmed with a podium at Monza and a fourth place at Fuji. We would have liked to do better in Bahrain, but our chances were compromised with a collision in which I was only a spectator at the start. Throughout the relays, we preserved our tires to show our potential in the final sprint, but we were already too far away. This year, our approach was mainly focused on the future. It is in difficulty that we learn the most, even more in such a competitive category. »
“It was a slightly frustrating race given our position on the grid, but the incident at the start compromised our race from the start. From then on, the rest looked complicated and it was with damage, a penalty and a few errors preventing us from extracting our full potential. This seventh place finish does not correspond to what we hoped for to conclude the team’s adventure in LMP2, but this season has still allowed us to show very good things, notably at Le Mans, at Monza and in Fuji. Everyone can now focus on next year and all the work that remains to be done before Alpine returns to the premier category. »
“The car performed very well from the start of the weekend, as we confirmed in qualifying. Unfortunately, the start ruined our chances of a podium while I am convinced that a good result was truly within our reach in Bahrain. This has not always been the case this season, but we have raised the bar to be among the best performers and reach the podium in several races on the calendar. This is what I want to remember, just like the great meetings and the discovery of a professional and united team throughout the year. »
Philippe Sinault, Team Principal Alpine Elf Endurance Team
“This race was a reflection of our season in proving difficult. Fate did not spare us since the incident at the start prevented us from building on our good performance in qualifying, an area where we were slightly behind so far this year, and on the long relay simulations which gave us hope a different scenario. Unfortunately, Matthieu had to avoid the collision before being hit twice. From then on, we were thirty seconds behind the lead and had to change the front cover at the end of his stint. At the end of the race, however, we found a good level of performance with our two cars to be on par with the leading cars. Looking back, Alpine’s ten-year LMP2 adventure has been great. A chapter closes today, but we must rely on all the elements that allowed us to build and give a soul to this story: the victories, the titles, but also the drivers, engineers and mechanics who trusted us for write these beautiful pages. Everyone made their contribution through their commitment. They allowed us to envisage a future and different ambitions in the premier category, so a big thank you to all these protagonists for their invaluable contribution. »
8 Hours of Bahrain – LMP2
1. Team WRT n°41
2. Team WRT n°31
3. JOTA n°28
7. Alpine Elf Endurance Team n°36
10. Alpine Elf Endurance Team n°35
FIA Endurance LMP2 Trophy
1. Team WRT n°41 – 173 points
2. Inter Europol Competition – 114 points
3. United Autosports n°22 – 105 points
7. Alpine Elf Endurance Team n°36 – 83 points
11. Alpine Elf Endurance Team n°35 – 23 points