The FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) heads to the Sarthe for round three of the season.
This year will be Alpine's tenth participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans since its return to competition in 2013.
Held on Friday afternoon, the scutineering was the first high point of the year's showpiece event.
This Sunday, Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Matthieu Vaxiviere will be behind the wheel of the n°36 Alpine A480 during the Test Day.
Leader of the FIA World Endurance Championship after the first two rounds at Sebring and Spa-Francorchamps, Alpine Elf Endurance Team is now preparing for the most important race of the season: the 24 Hours of Le Mans (11-12 June).
Like its rivals, Alpine Elf Endurance Team has set up operations in the Sarthe region of France for the next ten days and is preparing calmly for the longest, most demanding and undoubtedly the most spectacular race of the year.
Since its eighth consecutive podium result three weeks ago at Spa-Francorchamps, the team has been in a race against the clock to conduct a complete overhaul of the A480 and a first shakedown on Monday at Lurcy-Lévis. To be prepared for any eventuality in a demanding race for both drivers and machines, the team meticulously prepared spare parts ahead of this unique challenge.
Alpine Elf Endurance Team then headed to Le Mans, where the team had a 3.30 pm rendezvous on Friday for the scutineering. The administrative and technical checks at the Place de la République are compulsory for all 24 Hours of Le Mans competitors and are a fan favourite. The FIA and ACO stewards scrutinised the dimensions, weight, flat bottom, safety elements and electronic sensors among many other pieces of the Alpine A480. Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Matthieu Vaxiviere were also present to step onto the weight scale with all their equipment.
After receiving the go-ahead, Les Bleus immediately switched their focus to the next task: the Test Day on Sunday. The three drivers will use the two four-hour sessions to get their bearings on the 13.626km long non-permanent 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit and its world-famous Mulsanne straight. The trio will take turns in the Alpine A480 to fine-tune their prototype, perfect their pit stops and analyse the different Michelin tyres compounds.
Given their experience and the work done last year for Alpine's return to the premier class after a 43-year absence, the team and the three drivers will have no restrictions on how many laps they can run. Each team member will then be able to calmly prepare the rest of the programme as the preparations will ramp up from the first free practice session on Wednesday to the start of the race on Saturday, 11 June.
"It's so nice to be back at Le Mans. We have missed this public scutineering in the past few years and it is great to see the fans again. I think the team has done a good job since last year and we have improved a lot of small details to be as ready as we can. The results at the beginning of the season have been strong and I hope that it will be the same again in the 24 Hours of Le Mans."
"Since the beginning of the year, the team has done a really good job and this is reflected in our top results at Sebring and Spa and our position as championship leaders. I think we can’t be more ready for the 2022 24 Hours of Le Mans. While the race will be difficult as always, I think we can have a very nice race against our rivals. I am confident, the team as well, and now it's up to us!"
"This is my fifth 24 Hours of Le Mans, but there is always pressure in such a prestigious race. It helps that I'm going into my second consecutive edition with Alpine and the same teammates. It was really nice to see the Le Mans crowd again, both on the track and in the city centre. We are also here to share the excitement and these moments together!"
Philippe Sinault, Alpine Elf Endurance Team Principal
"Preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans is always an intense period requiring a tremendous commitment of everyone. The return to the traditional dates has only made it more challenging with just three weeks since the previous event at Spa-Francorchamps. The team has done a good job in a difficult international logistical context, and we are ready to go, ready to fight. This year marks our tenth participation in the Alpine colours. It is a terrific sign of mutual trust, especially as this period has produced many successes and unforgettable memories. We are aiming for better than our third-place finish last year, but our rivals have also improved. Humility remains a valuable asset in a race full of uncertainties like this one. This edition is also an opportunity to return to the classic 24 Hours of Le Mans itinerary, with a large crowd present as we saw during this first scrutineering held in the city centre since 2019. The checks are always mandatory in the good sense of the word, as they contribute to ramping up the excitement. It's a moment of bonding with the fans and a final chance to relax before switching to Le Mans mode!"
Sunday 5 June
9 am-1 pm: Test Day
2-6 pm: Test Day
Wednesday 8 June
2-5 pm: Free practice 1
7-8 pm: Qualifying
8 pm - Midnight: Free practice 2
Thursday 9 June
3-6 pm: Free practice 3
8-8:30 pm: Hyperpole
10 pm - Midnight: Free practice 4
Friday 10 June
7-9 pm: Parade in city-centre
Saturday 11 June
10:30-10:45 am: Warm-up
4 pm: Start of the 90th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans