Alpine Elf Matmut Endurance Team finished the 24 Hours of Le Mans Test Day in fourth position overall with a best time of 3:30.111s.
Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Matthieu Vaxiviere focused on the adaptation of the A480 to the specificities of the Circuit de la Sarthe, putting in 87 laps or more than 1,185 kilometres.
The team is now analysing the data collected before it returns to the track on Wednesday for the first free practice and qualifying sessions.
Sunny skies welcomed the 62 teams present in the Sarthe for the two sessions totalling nine hours of track time to begin their final preparations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans (21-22 August).
After exploratory runs from André Negrão and Nicolas Lapierre in the opening hour, Mathieu Vaxiviere took over in the A480 to gather information in their quest for the best setup. The three drivers also evaluated tyre wear, track evolutions and fuel management with the team. Nicolas Lapierre then set the best time for the #36 Alpine in 3:31.519s, placing the trio in second place in the morning session, only 0.256s adrift of the fastest time while completing 34 laps.
After a one-hour break, Les Bleus continued their programme with André Negrão, who lowered his teammate's benchmark. The crew put in a series of short and long runs in temperatures close to 30°C before the pace picked up late in the day. Despite not pushing for a quick time, Nicolas Lapierre improved to 3:30.111s to slot into fourth place in the Hypercar category and the general classification, at less than a second to the leaders.
The next matter of business for Alpine Elf Matmut Endurance Team will come on Wednesday with the opening free practice session. The three-hour session will be followed by qualifying and the first night session of the week.
Philippe Sinault, Team Principal Alpine Elf Matmut Endurance Team
"Due to superstition, there is always a bit of caution when saying that the day went well, but that was the case. We knew that we had an intense Sunday ahead of us with many parameters to check and validate, such as our latest developments, the fuel mileage on this track and the two types of tyres we tried with more than three stints on each. While we had a good level of performance, we learned a lot today, which should be similar to this week's conditions. The drivers did not make any mistakes, they listened to each other, and all three felt comfortable behind the wheel. We will now continue the work by analysing the data collected, servicing the A480 for the race and continue our preparations now that we have distinct elements on this circuit to finetune our simulations. The aim is now to focus on free practice, where we will work on marginally different aerodynamic setups, before turning our attention to qualifying.“
Wednesday 18 August
14h00-17h00: Free practice 1
22h00-00h00: Free practice 2
Thursday 19 August
14h00-17h00: Free practice 3
22h00-00h00: Free practice 4
Saturday 21 August
14h10-14h25: Alpine Parade
16h00: Start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans