For the second race of the season, the WEC field stopped in Belgium, surprisingly welcomed by a hot and sunny weather.
During the Free Practice sessions the #36 car has constantly been showing good pace, while searching for a good set up.
In Qualifying, Nicolas Lapierre and Gustavo Menezes did a great job to place the car in 2nd position on the grid.
On saturday afternoon the sky was blue for an eventful race. Right at the start Nicolas was forced to make contact at the first corner, but didn’t damage the car.
Running P3 after one hour the team was closing the gap with the leaders. At Mid-Race there were two Full Course Yellow situations to manage due to race incidents.
Stephane, behind the wheels at this time took 2nd place when a car in front got a puncture.
At the end of his two stints, he spun in La Source, rear bumped by a LMP1 car. Luckily the car was once again not damaged.
Gustavo made a great effort and took the lead after another LMP1 incident.
One hour before the end all the work done was brought to zero with a safety car that closed the gap from 1.30min to nothing !
At the restart, the car didn’t have enough fuel to finish. That meant the team will need to make a splash and dash. Leaving the pit 2sec off the lead and 1sec in front of P3, the podium was really tight, only 6min away from the checkered flag. Nicolas offered the 1st victory for the new Alpine A460 after a brilliant move in the penultimate lap.
« Now I really understand how tough is endurance race because it’s more 8 stints of sprint. It’s been really tensed with lots of ups and downs and the achievement is fantastic with our first victory ! A big thank you to everybody ! » S.R
After this race the #36 crew is only 3 points off the championship lead.
Next stop is Le Mans the 18th and 19th of June where the Alpine boys will go with confidence, aware of the good line up they have !