THE SIGNATECH ALPINE MATMUT TEAM ALL SET TO GO IN THE FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP

  • The Signatech Alpine Matmut team took part in the FIA WEC Prologue over the last two days, held at the Circuit Paul Ricard.
  • Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet took turns behind the wheel of the no.36 Alpine A470, setting the second fastest time in the LMP2 category.

All of the competitors entered in the FIA WEC were greeted by sunshine for this final dress rehearsal held near Marseille in the south of France. On Friday at 10am, the track was opened for a mammoth thirty-hour session, concluding on Saturday at 4pm.

Since reliability is no longer an issue for the Alpine A470, Signatech Alpine Matmut decided not to attempt a 24-hour plus race simulation. First and foremost, the technical programme involved going for out and out performance. With this in mind, each driver was given a set of new tyres to use in series of a few laps.

As Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet were pleased with the balance of the car, Friday afternoon was devoted to working on the set-up in racing conditions. At the end of a double stint by Negrão, the team ticked off another item on its checklist.

Whilst a handful of competitors continued to complete laps of the track throughout the night, the Alpine A470 waited patiently in its garage for the following morning.

As the Mistral – the strong, north-westerly wind that blows through southern France – had picked up, the French squad worked on a different aerodynamic configuration for the second day. Unsurprisingly, the newcomer to the no.36 crew Pierre Thiriet spent the most time behind the wheel.

By the end of the thirty-hour session, the no.36 Alpine A470 had completed 148 laps – i.e. 857 kilometres – with its fastest time set by Nicolas Lapierre in 1:41.088. This was the second best time in the LMP2 category.

The Alpine A470 will be back at the Circuit Paul Ricard on 13-15 April: André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet will be making a one-off appearance at the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, the opening round of the European Le Mans Series.

What they said

Philippe Sinault, Signatech Alpine Matmut Team Principal

"This was our first time back at the Circuit Paul Ricard in a while and we found that the new surface is a bit harder on the tyres. During the first part of our programme, we quickly found the performance level we were looking for and we were then able to switch to an endurance mode, with the aim of using the new Dunlop over longer periods. I would say we managed to find the right operating window for the tyres quicker than we did last year. The three drivers worked very well: André completed a very good double stint on Friday afternoon, Pierre slotted into the team well in setting times close to those of his team-mates and Nico fulfilled his role of leader, spending a lot of time with the engineers in order to analyse the data. We are in good shape ahead of the start of the season."

Nicolas Lapierre: "We had a fairly busy schedule, working on two main areas: assessing the 2018 tyres and integrating Pierre in our crew. Although this track is very specific, we tried quite a few things, completed simulations of double stints and started to define the aerodynamic configuration for Spa. The new Dunlop tyres are quicker, but also more fragile. We worked on adapting our set-up accordingly. The season is going to get off to a flying start, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans just after Spa."

André Negrão: "First of all, I would say that we are all pleased to be back on track and preparing for the new season together. Over these two days of testing, we have learned a lot about the car in its 2018 configuration, largely dictated by the introduction of the new tyres. We quickly switched to working on endurance, putting together series of long runs. The feeling was good in the car in terms of preparation for the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, a race that we're also looking forward to. I think we're all stronger – the car, the drivers and the technical team – than last year."

Pierre Thiriet: "I'm very pleased to be part of this team. It's really enjoyable to work with and talk to people who are passionate about motorsport. I'm equally pleased with the work done this weekend, with long series of laps that helped develop my confidence. This baggage will be important next week, when we take part in the ELMS race with André. It's also a very good opportunity to get a little bit more experience and some more kilometres under my belt in racing conditions. I feel very good ahead of the start of the season."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

About Groupe Renault

Groupe Renault has been making cars since 1898. Today it is an international multi-brand group, selling 3.76 million vehicles in 127 countries in 2017, with 36 manufacturing sites, 12,700 points of sales and employing more than 120,000 people. To meet the major technological challenges of the future and continue its strategy of profitable growth, the Group is harnessing its international growth and the complementary fit of its five brands, Renault, Dacia, Renault Samsung Motors, Alpine and LADA, together with electric vehicles and the unique Alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi. With a new team in Formula 1, Renault sees motorsport as a vector of innovation and brand awareness.

In the UK, Groupe Renault UK has nearly 160 dealers selling the range of Renault cars, LCVs and Dacia. Groupe Renault UK sales totalled 113,988 vehicles in 2017.

For further information, please visit www.press.grouperenault.co.uk or @RenaultUKPR or contact:

Matthew Bendall
Head of Press & Public Relations
matthew.bendall@renault.co.uk – 01923 697653 – 07814 990247

Chloe Yemm
Product & Corporate Communications Manager – Renault
chloe.yemm@renault.co.uk – 01923 697342 – 07773 048531

Callum Chamberlain
Product & Corporate Communications Manager – Dacia
callum.chamberlain@renault.co.uk – 01923 697512 – 07989 434003

Oliver Lowe
Product & Corporate Communications Manager – LCV & Fleet
oliver.lowe@renault.co.uk – 01923 697878 – 07816 397540

Lisa Haworth-Langford
Press Fleet & Events Manager
lisa.haworth-langford@renault.co.uk – 01923 697537 – 07968 128886

Charlie Roper
Press Relations Coordinator
charlie.roper@renault.co.uk – 01923 697778 - 07816 641843

Emma Stacey
Communications Assistant
emma.stacey@renault.co.uk – 01923 697363

Media Usage Terms

I agree that all creative assets including but not limited to photos, logos, sketches, images and artwork are for
editorial use only. All commercial use of these creative assets, including but not limited to advertising,
marketing and merchandising, is strictly prohibited.

I agree to these terms and conditions

Images
1

The Signatech Alpine Matmut team all set to go in the FIA World Endurance Championship

The Signatech Alpine Matmut team all set to go in the FIA World Endurance Championship

Media ID: 525
Small 1500 x 1000 1.0 MB
Medium 3500 x 2333 4.4 MB
Large 4500 x 3000 3.1 MB

© 2019 Copyright Alpine. Reproduction free for editorial use only.