An eighth consecutive podium finish for Alpine Elf Endurance Team!
Spa-Francorchamps, France, May 9th 2022 - Following an impressive win in Sebring, Florida, at the opening race of the season, Alpine Elf Endurance Team was determined to keep up its momentum at Spa-Francorchamps for round two of the FIA WEC (World Endurance Championship).
In qualifying, Matthieu Vaxivière confirmed that he and his fellow crew members André Negrao and Nicolas Lapierre were in good form as he claimed second place on the starting grid in the Alpine A480. However, the start of the race proved trickier than planned for the French squad: Negrao was boxed in off the line by the polesitter and dropped back to fourth. The race was then disrupted by a series of heavy downpours and three red flags, but Alpine Elf Endurance Team nonetheless managed to climb back up into second position by the chequered flag, after a solid performance built on a smartly executed strategy. A result that represents the team's eighth consecutive podium finish in the class. The team even put on slicks for the final half hour, as it made a bold – but ultimately futile – attempt to catch the leaders. “It was a solid performance from everyone in the team,” analysed Nicolas Lapierre. “The rain complicated matters and it was easy to make mistakes, but we managed to meet the challenge and secure second place. It’s difficult to draw any clear conclusions as regards our performance level in the changeable conditions, but it was important to make it to the end of the race without any errors so we can head to Le Mans with confidence. We’re already really looking forward to June.”
Comments that were echoed by Philippe Sinault, Alpine Elf Endurance Team Principal: “It was a good race despite the difficulties. After Sebring, this event further underlines just how tough the start of the season has been, but we have managed to come through it very well, both in an operational sense and in terms of points on the board. We managed to understand what adjustments to the performance balance were needed to be in the mix, but I was impressed above all by the level-headed calmness that prevailed throughout the team despite the terrible conditions. This eighth podium shows that our car and our drivers are extremely reliable. I'm very proud of them as we now prepare for our second appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the top class. We know that we have raised our game and we’re more in control than a year ago. We’re heading in the right direction. We feel very proud to be leading the championship coming into Le Mans. This year’s event looks set to be a huge party and I can’t wait to share the experience with everyone despite the three weeks of intense preparation that lie ahead of us.” The world famous 24-hour race, the highlight of the endurance racing season, will be upon us shortly as it is scheduled to take place on 11-12 June.
Another first-class performance by Alpine Elf Endurance Team enables the squad to consolidate its position at the top of the drivers’ and team’s championship standings in the Hypercar class.