The FIA World Endurance Championship returns to the Old Continent for the penultimate round on the calendar.
At Spa-Francorchamps, the n°36 Alpine A470 will aim for a seventh consecutive podium result with Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet.
With the lead in the Drivers’ Championship, the trio wants to take Signatech Alpine Matmut to the top of the Teams’ classification.
A little less than a year ago, the Signatech Alpine Matmut team opened its season with a pole position and podium at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Twelve months later, the 2018-2019 Super Season of the FIA World Endurance Championship heads back to Belgium for the seventh and penultimate round of a campaign that will conclude with the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Taking the lead in the Drivers’ Championship with its seventh consecutive podium at Sebring, the French squad is preparing to use all of its experience to reclaim the lead in the Teams’ classification – on the most technical track in the world, while also beginning its preparation for the season finale in France.
Generally considered as a dress rehearsal for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps this time is the perfect opportunity to evaluate the extent of progress achieved by the n°36 Alpine A470.
Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the Michelin tyres on an asphalt more representative than the concrete and bumpy Sebring surface.
While the race for the title promises to go right down to the final minutes of the season, the Signatech Alpine Matmut team is not overlooking any detail in a race where consistency, reliability, fuel and tyre management will be more crucial than ever to pick up valuable points against the competition... Or winning, as was the case in 2016!
The Alpine A470 will tackle the track from Thursday for the two free-practice sessions. After a third and final session Friday morning, qualifying will begin at 15h35. The Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps will start on Saturday at 13h30.
Philippe Sinault, Team principal Signatech Alpine Matmut
“This second round at Spa-Francorchamps is one of the specificities of the Super-Season. Contrary to last year where everyone was anxious to see which teams would be strong, now we know who are the main contenders as well as our rivals for the title. Since Sebring, we have done a good job focusing on our discovery of the Michelin tyres with Pierre Thiriet, Nicolas Lapierre and André Negrão. We now have a good understanding of the car and solid references before going back to Spa. As usual, the weather will be one of the big unknowns and the latest forecasts call for a very cold and wet Saturday. However, we will not write off any scenario as it can have a big effect on the race, even more so on such a long track. Whatever happens, we are determined to continue our podiums run. The target will be big points for our title reconquest before the final sprint at Le Mans!"
THURSDAY MAY 2
12:00: free-practice 1 (90 minutes)
16:25: free-practice 2 (90 minutes)
FRIDAY MAY 3
11h00: free-practice 3 (60 minutes)
15:35: qualifying LMP1 / LMP2 (20 minutes)
SATURDAY MAY 4
13:30: Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps