Insight: Alpine Gears Up for New Era with A424
Davey Euwema explores how Alpine is preparing for top-class return with new LMDh car…
Alpine is currently gearing up for its return to the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Hypercar class after a year’s absence. However, its re-entry in top class competition presents it with a whole new set of challenges, as the French manufacturer will be developing a car from the ground up for the first time in WEC.
To find out how Alpine is handling those demands, Sportscar365 went behind the scenes at the recent multi-day test at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain.
As a chilly wind blew across the Jerez paddock, I was guided to the garage for a tour led by chief LMDh engineer Yann Paranthoen on the morning of the second day of running.
Unsurprisingly, the box was a hive of activity with personnel from various groups working alongside each other. As was pointed out, the staff working in blue shirts were from Philippe Sinault’s Signatech team, responsible for operating the car, while those clad in black represented the Alpine Racing department.
As development driver Nicolas Lapierre explained, some of those involved came from Alpine’s Formula 1 project. “They help [with] developing the hybrid system, energy management, chassis management we can do with this hybrid system,” he said. “This is what they are helping us with and they are very strong at it. They know about energy management from various categories and for us it’s a great help to step forward. We have quite a few engineers from Viry-Chatillon and they are really helpful here.”
In addition to Signatech and Alpine personnel, the working group also included people from Magneti Marelli, as well as chassis partner ORECA.