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Signatech Alpine Matmut in the group of leaders

Signatech Alpine Matmut in the group of leaders

15.06.2018: • Entirely reserved for qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Thursday evening was very busy. • The n°36 Alpine A470 will start 6th in the LMP2

•    Entirely reserved for qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Thursday evening was very busy.


•    The n°36 Alpine A470 will start 6th in the LMP2 category.


•    Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet believe they have a well-balanced car for the race that starts Saturday at 15:00.




 
Following the first qualifying session Wednesday night, the field had two more sessions to set the starting grid for the 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans.



During the first session of the day at 19:00, Nicolas Lapierre was charged with improving on the time set yesterday. After 20 minutes, the Signatech Alpine Matmut driver was on a flyer when the red flag was shown for a GT car that went off circuit.


When the action resumed, Nico returned to the business at hand in the famous search of a ‘clean lap’, where the racing line is clear all along the 13.626kms. It nearly came when he suffered suspension damage going over a kerb. The car spun and Nicolas had to slowly return to the pits with a puncture.



At the same time, another LMP2 went off bringing the premature and definitive interruption of the session. After the protective walls were put back in place, qualifying resumed at 21:30 for a two and a half hour session.



The Signatech Alpine Matmut mechanics took the time to verify the repairs on the Alpine A470 were perfect before allowing Nicolas Lapierre to go back out.



Nico then handed over to André Negrão, who then tried to improve the best time of the n°36 crew. However, the track conditions didn’t allow him to do so and he then left his place to Pierre Thiriet.



With less than an hour remaining, light rain turned into heavy showers near Mulsanne. Pierre couldn’t avoid a spin at Indianapolis, but was able to bring the car back to the pits undamaged.


The rain continued with no improvement to the times. The n°36 Alpine A470 qualified 6th in LMP2.





Quotes


Philippe Sinault, Signatech Alpine Matmut Team principal



“This evening condensed a good part of the difficulties that can be encountered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We decided to go for it in qualifying, in putting Nicolas in the best situation to put in a fast lap.



He was in the midst of improving when he broke the right-rear suspension in going over a kerb. We all decided to take a few chances but it didn’t work out.



The team did a great job in repairing the car. When André tried his luck, it was already beginning to rain and he couldn’t improve. In any case, the team had the chance to train in real conditions!”




 André Negrão

“We didn’t have luck on our side tonight. Each time I switched to new tyres with the goal of improving our time, my laps were slowed by traffic. In the end, the most important thing is to know that we have a good car for the race.


 In being sixth, we have the chance to run with the leaders right from the start of the race. Obviously it will be a long race and it will be important to stay out of trouble.”


 

 
Christophe Deville-photo Renault

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/signatech-alpine-matmut-group-leaders---177360.html

15.06.2018 / MaP

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