6 Hours of COTA - One final step up for Alpine

6 Hours of COTA - One final step up for Alpine

13.09.2017: • Third at the Nürburgring and runner-up in Mexico, the Signatech Alpine Matmut no.36 crew will be aiming for victory in the LMP2

•    Third at the Nürburgring and runner-up in Mexico, the Signatech Alpine Matmut no.36 crew will be aiming for victory in the LMP2 at the next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).


•    The 6 Hours of COTA will be contested in Austin (Texas) this coming Saturday, 16 September.


•    The Alpine A470 will once again be driven by Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Gustavo Menezes, who will be racing at his home event.






Two weeks after the Mexican round, the FIA WEC will making its second stop on the American continent in Texas. Since 2012, the 6 Hours of COTA – the acronym of the Circuit Of The Americas – is a round that has become highly appreciated by teams and drivers alike.



This is especially true for the Signatech Alpine Matmut team, which enjoyed a perfect weekend in 2016. After securing pole position, the Alpine A460 driven by Lapierre/Menezes/Richelmi went on to win the race, finishing more than a lap clear of the second-placed car!



These good memories only serve to boost the French outfit's ambitions for this sixth round of the season. The no.36 Alpine A470 comes into the race on a positive run after grabbing a podium finish at the Nürburgring, followed by pole position and second place in Mexico City. Thanks to these results, Signatech Alpine Matmut now lies third in the LMP2 Teams' overall standings.



In Austin, the technical team will have to deal with a very different challenge to the one posed in Mexico. Both quick and technical, the 5.515km-long circuit features twenty corners, some of which were copied from the Silverstone and Hockenheim racetracks. The sharp incline that follows the start-finish straight is however specific to this track. Among the positive points, the fact that there are several overtaking zones will make life easier for the drivers in the traffic.



On the other hand, their physical condition will be sorely tested. The anti-clockwise direction of the track – tiring for the neck muscles – and the 35°C air temperatures will undoubtedly make it necessary to adapt the strategy in order to maintain a high pace. Unlike in previous seasons, the drivers will not even be able to benefit from cooler conditions in the evening, since the chequered flag is due to be shown before sunset.



Like in Mexico, the no.36 Alpine A470 will be driven by the Frenchman Nicolas Lapierre, the Brazilian André Negrão and the American Gustavo Menezes. At their first event together, the crew showed great cohesion, complementing each other very well to produce a very high level of performance, both in free practice and in the race.



The FIA WEC competitors will head out on track for the first time on Thursday for two free practice sessions. Qualifying will be held on Friday afternoon following a third practice session. The 6 Hours of COTA will get underway on Saturday at 12pm local time (GMT-5), i.e. 7pm French (CET) time.
 




Quote, unquote



Bernard Ollivier, Alpine Deputy Managing Director



"We expect this race to be a turning point in our season. It's time for us to confirm the progress we have shown over the last two races. The momentum we have built up has given the team a serious boost and our main target will be to win in Austin. That's the result we need to stay in the title hunt until the end of the season.




Our crew has the same motivation and Gustavo will certainly be determined to make a strong impression at his home round. I'd be delighted if we could repeat the success we enjoyed in 2016! Having said that, we all know just how unpredictable Endurance racing can sometimes be. Nothing can be taken for granted, by any of the teams."




Philippe Sinault, Signatech Alpine Matmut Team Principal



"The two-week break between Mexico and Austin enabled the team to return briefly to France. After finishing third in Germany and second in Mexico, we just need to move up one more step. I think we now have the best package to contest the last few races and aim for results that are in keeping with our status.



The Circuit Of The Americas provides very different conditions to those we faced two weeks ago. The track, with its straight sections and fast corners, tends to reward high top speeds. Once again this year, the heat will be difficult to manage.




In spite of the air conditioning that is now fitted in the LMP2 cars, we'll have to monitor the condition of the drivers. The tyres will also suffer a lot over the six hours."




Schedule (GMT-5)



THURSDAY 14 SEPTEMBER


12.00pm: Free practice 1 (90 mins)
4.30pm: Free practice 2 (90 mins)


FRIDAY 15 SEPTEMBER


10.00am: Free practice 3 (60 mins)
3.35pm: LMP1/LMP2 qualifying (20 mins)



SATURDAY 16 SEPTEMBER


12.00pm: 6 Hours of COTA


You can follow the action live on the FIA WEC website, apps and social media, as well as on various television channels including Eurosport, Motorsport.tv, L’Equipe (France), Sport1 (Germany), BT Sport (United Kingdom), RTBF (Belgium) and FOX Sports (Americas).



Christophe Deville -  photo Alpine
 

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/6h-cota-final-step-alpine---167872.html

13.09.2017 / MaP

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