ALPINE GRABS A PODIUM IN THE LAND OF A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS!
Having already secured the LMP2 category world title, the no.36 Signatech-Alpine ended the 6 Hours of Bahrain in third place.
This was seventh podium in nine races for Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre and Stéphane Richelmi!
Right from the word go, the Signatech-Alpine showed in qualifying that it was going to be on the pace this weekend. Following the demotion of the no.26 G-Drive, Gustavo Menezes and Stéphane Richelmi secured the no.36 crew’s second pole position of the season.
The 6 Hours of Bahrain got underway on Saturday at 4pm local time, just as sunlight was beginning to fade. When the lights went out, Gustavo Menezes raced away in front. The Californian moved several lengths clear with an authoritative start, before then keeping his rivals at bay throughout his double stint.On his first stint, the Frenchman noted a drop-off in performance. However, thanks to the driver’s talent, the no.36 Signatech-Alpine held onto the lead until the halfway stage of the race.
Like his team-mate, Stéphane suffered from a lack of grip with his tyres. The Monegasque limited the time lost as much as possible but he dropped back to fourth place, also due to different strategies.
For the final hour, Nicolas Lapierre resumed driving duties. He produced a superb effort on fresh rubber to sneak into the podium places with twelve minutes to go!
Stéphane Richelmi: “It really wasn’t easy for me! I had two new tyres and two tyres that had already been used in qualifying, and I had to manage with them during both of my stints. I tried to keep a good rhythm whilst looking after my tyres, but it became more difficult as the race went on. We changed the strategy so that Nicolas was able to finish on fresh tyres and we managed to grab a podium spot. The main thing is the overall result, with our win at Le Mans and the LMP2 title.”