The Alpine Elf Endurance team is determined before visiting Portugal |

The Alpine Elf Endurance team is determined before visiting Portugal |

  • The second round of the 2023 World Endurance Championship season takes place this weekend at the Autódromo do Algarve in Portimão.

  • After showing great pace at Sebring, the two Alpine Elf Endurance Team teams are aiming to score points in Portugal to begin their climb up the overall standings.

  • The trio of André Negrão, Memo Rojas and Olli Caldwell along with Matthieu Vaxiviere, Julien Canal and Charles Milesi want to appear on a track that has become part of Alpine history.

After an exciting and intense season opener at SebringThe FIA ​​​​WEC returns to the Old Continent to begin its European tour, which will continue until July with stops at Spa-Francorchamps, Le Mans and Monza.

Although this is the second time the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship has been hosted by Portugal, the Alpine Elf Endurance Team is no stranger to the country, having won its second European title in 2014. Since then Estoril has given way to Portimão and the Autódromo do Algarve, built in 2008. Considered one of the most modern technical circuits in Europe, the circuit has many fast corners and steep climbs that provide a lot of excitement.

In Portimão’s first appearance on the 2021 FIA WEC calendar, Les Blues wrote new pages in Alpine’s rich history with their first pole position in the Hypercar category. In addition to this historic feat, the drivers of Matthieu Vaxiviere, Nicolas Lapierre and André Negrão finished third, setting the fastest lap of the race.

Based on this experience, the French team is preparing to return to the challenges of the Algarve. The six drivers of the team will be especially careful in the first corner, where they will need to be extra careful to avoid an incident. At the end of almost one kilometer of the start/finish straight, there is a downhill braking area, which precedes a fast sequence that leads to a slow section. For the rest of the track, the drivers must always be at their peak, avoiding bumps in the corners, which requires constant dedication and speed. Otherwise, they will waste valuable time.

The biggest difference is the race time: six hours compared to eight hours in the previous edition of 2021. This difference is not insignificant, but it reduces the strategic possibility of getting a maximum of 25 points for victory, although tire damage can be a factor depending on the conditions. air

The Alpine Elf Endurance team approaches the race with a sense of humility, but also with a genuine desire to enjoy a clean weekend and an insatiable desire to return to the podium in LMP2 with the level of performance that allowed them to move forward on the grid. Sebring. In addition to drawing on the experience and knowledge gained from the two days of pre-season testing, the Signatech engineers and mechanics will also rely on the important contribution of their drivers, who all have experience in Portimão, as well as Ollie Caldwell, who will be racing there for the first time. first.

Starting with Friday’s practice, André Negrão, Memo Rojas and Olli Caldwell in car #35 and Charles Milesi, Julien Canal and Matthieu Vaxivière in car #36 will adjust their Alpine A470 settings in preparation for Saturday’s qualifying. 37 cars, including 12 in the LMP2 category, will start the 6-hour race in Portimão on Sunday at 12:00 local time (13:00 Polish time).

Philippe Sinault, team principal of the Alpine Elf Endurance team

We’re looking to get rid of the stress after visiting Sebring and confirming the good pace of racing we saw there. We learned everything we could in the first round where we experienced the increased competitiveness of the LMP2 category. Portimão was the only track where we were able to test our design before restarting our LMP2 program. Although Portimão, like many circuits on the calendar, is unusual, with many differences in elevation, we return to a circuit more familiar and traditional than Sebring. For this reason, we felt the need to go there this winter. We will have to look for strategic windows as Portimão is known to put a lot of pressure on the tyres, especially the left front. This will provide a different option in the area that we can control well, to work perfectly. We are looking forward to going there to get more results to the best of our ability, which is to finish the stage“.

Friday, April 14

11:30-13:00: First training session
16:30-18:00: 2nd training session

Saturday, April 15

12:15-13:15: 3rd training session
16:55-17:15: LMP2 category qualifiers

Sunday, April 16

13:00-19:00: 6 hours of Portimão


March 11-12: Prologue – Sebring (USA)
March 17: 1000 Miles of Sebring (USA)
April 16: 6 Hours of Portimão (Portugal)
April 29: 6 Hours of Business-Francorchamps (Belgium)
June 10-11: 24 Hours of Le Mans (France)
July 9: 6 Hours of Monza (Italy)
September 10: 6 Hours of Fuji (Japan)
November 4: 8 Hours of Bahrain (Bahrain)

source: Alpine Cars Katowice

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