“Please find a short race by race review, for our way to this sucess. And by the way, I wish you all the best for this new year! ”
17 April – 6 Hours of Silverstone – 4th Place
For the Alpine A460’s first race, the team had a lot to learn, especially when it came to managing tyres on a wet track. In the race itself, the Signatech-Alpine made it up to third position, but a puncture cost the car a place and it finished just shy of the podium places.
7 May – 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – Victory
Full of incidents and action, the Belgian round of the FIA WEC was decided only in the final hour. When the Safety Car came on track, all our contenders made their last refuelling but we didn’t want to risk it as it was short for the fuel. So Nicolas Lapierre had to come into the pits in the last minutes for a splash & dash. He rejoined in second place but quickly regained the lead after pulling off a bold overtaking move to get past Derani 5 minutes from the checkered flag ! The Alpine A460 claimed its first win.
18-19 June – 24 Heures du Mans – Victory
Lapierre, Richelmi and Menezes produced a perfect performance to beat 22 very tough competitors, laying the foundations for the win overnight. The team reacted quickly to on-track events, thinking on its feet to adapt its strategy. This enabled the n36 Alpine to move clear in the early hours of the morning. After covering some 4,864.86km, the car crossed the finishing line 1st in its category and 5th overall, equalling the best ever result of an LMP2 at Le Mans. It is also worth noting that this result was achieved with two Le Mans “rookies” in the crew.
24 July – 6 Hours of the Nürburgring – Victory
There was no question of the team resting on its laurels after the win at Le Mans ! In Germany, the Signatech-Alpine crew secured its third consecutive race win.
The #26 G-Drive had a more aggressive strategy regarding the tires so Rast was leading Stéphane by 20sec after the 1st hour. But their mechanical problem didn’t allow us to fight against them in the end of the race. After that, Gustavo Menezes managed the various safety car periods perfectly, and Nicolas Lapierre finished the job in a relaxed way !
3 September – 6 Hours of Mexico – 2nd Place
With the European season over, the FIA WEC headed for the Americas. In front of wildly enthusiastic fans, the Signatech-Alpine took the lead halfway through the race after saving one pit-stop from all the contenders. The appearance of rain changed a bit the strategy and a drive-through definetly took the N°36 away from the lead. Nicolas Lapierre attempted to fight back in the closing laps and crossed the finish line less than two seconds behind the winners!
17 September – 6 Hours of COTA – Victory
For the first time this season, Alpine claimed the pole position. Contested in stiflingly hot conditions, this race turned the drivers into genuine slaves on the track. Stéphane proved to be the most adept at this exercise, only one managing to complete a double stint. This decisive phase enabled the no.36 to build up a one-lap lead. Even if everyone was hoping of another victory, it has been the last one of the season.
16 October – 6 Hours of Fuji – 3rd Place
Aiming to make one fewer pit stop than their rivals over the course of the race, the Signatech-Alpine went for a different strategy. At the end of the first stint, Nicolas Lapierre handed over driving duties to Stéphane Richelmi. Following the double stint of Gustavo Menezes, Lapierre got back behind the wheel for the closing stages of the race. In touch with the leaders right to the end, he took the chequered flag in third position.
6 November – 6 Hours of Shanghai – 4th – Title Won !
Nicolas Lapierre led at the start. However, he had to manage his tyres and relinquished the lead with half an hour gone. But after Nico’s stint, we made the wrong decisions to give Gustavo Menezes the hard compound. When running third, the American was shunted into a spin, but he was able to keep racing. Following two good stints by Stéphane Richelmi, Nicolas Lapierre took over behind the wheel until the finish. Matching the pace of his rivals, he finished fourth to collect the points needed to win the title !
19 November – 6 Hours of Bahrain – 3rd Place
After securing the team’s second pole position of the season, this time with Stéphane teamed up alongside Gustavo, the Signatech-Alpine made a perfect start to the race. Gustavo built up a small lead during the first 2 stints. However, on Nicolas Lapierre’s first stint, the car’s performance dropped off suddenly. The situation did not improve when Stéphane Richelmi took over driving duties. On the final stint, Nicolas Lapierre managed to claim the team’s seventh podium of the season.