Le Mans is underway for the Alpine A450b

elson Panciatici started the race behind the wheel of Signatech-Alpine’s Alpine A450b.Following an early pit-stop for technical tweaks, the Alpine A450b sits in ninth position.

For the second consecutive year, the Signatech-Alpine squad took to the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

At 15.00, the lights went out to rev the legendary La Sarthe classic into life. Having posted the team’s fastest lap time during qualifying, Nelson Panciatici was at the wheel of the Alpine A450b for the race’s opening stint.

After lining up fifth amongst the LMP2 class contenders, the Frenchman wasted little time in moving up to fourth before finding himself grappling with a front-left vibration.

During the team’s first pit-stop, the technical crew duly changed the car’s front nose for a time loss of just 20 seconds.

The No.36 Alpine A450b currently occupies ninth position in the LMP2 standings after an hour of racing.

Philippe Sinault, Signatech-Alpine Team Principal: “We replaced the front nose during our first refuelling stop. It seems it may have been knocked slightly askew when Nelson ran over a kerb. He reported that the car felt easier to drive following this change. The battle in LMP2 is extremely close.”