Le Mans: Alpine Elf Endurance Team engaged in a long comeback drive

Le Mans: Alpine Elf Endurance Team engaged in a long comeback drive


André Negrão, Mathieu Vaxiviere and Nicolas Lapierre remain united to ensure big points for the A480.
The trio is fifth in the Hypercar category at half-distance.

After a tough first quarter of the race that saw them lose nearly seven laps due to a penalty and two garage interventions, Alpine Elf Endurance Team continued to fight as darkness began to fall over the Circuit de la Sarthe.

André Negrão was the first to launch the Alpine A480's comeback. Always willing to give it his all, the Brazilian completed a quadruple stint in less than three hours at dusk before Nicolas Lapierre took over. The Frenchman defied the first challenges of the night with brio to catch up to several LMP2 cars in the total darkness.

Matthieu Vaxiviere was next in the car, and he too made several passes in traffic and showed his lucidity by narrowly avoiding a collision with the #30 Duqueine at 2 am. At the end of his triple stint, which brought Alpine back to within a lap of the top 20, he handed over to André Negrão in hour 12.

At half-distance, Alpine Elf Endurance Team climbed up to 23rd place in the general classification.

Matthieu Vaxiviere
"Our comeback is complicated in the cooler overnight conditions, which are more favourable to the LMP2 cars. We're truly on a knife-edge to get the most out of the tyres. You have to put a lot of energy into getting them into the optimum window, and it's hard to do that when you're behind the LMP2s because we brake earlier and can't pass them on the straights. It's a vicious circle that costs us on every lap. We are still motivated though as we want our work to pay off so we will continue to give it our all."

Philippe Sinault, Alpine Elf Endurance Team Principal
"We are slowly making our way up the order, but it's hard work because we know that the gap to the LMP2 cars is smaller in these conditions. We are still motivated and aiming for fifth place in the Hypercar category at the finish. Anything can still happen at the front of the order so we have to continue not to make any mistakes, and Matthieu was able to do that perfectly by avoiding two close calls in front of him, one with the No.1 Richard Mille Racing Team and the other with the No.30 Duqueine Team."

Start: 3rd (3rd Hypercar)
Hour 1: 5th (5th Hypercar) + 31.032s - 17 laps
Hour 2: 4th (4th Hypercar) +2:49.336s - 34 laps
Hour 3: 4th (4th Hypercar) + 2:25.404s - 50 laps
Hour 4: 18th (5th Hypercar) + 3 laps - 62 laps
Hour 5: 32nd (5th Hypercar) + 7 laps - 75 laps
Hour 6: 28th (5th Hypercar) + 7 laps - 91 laps
Hour 7: 28th (5th Hypercar) + 8 laps - 107 laps
Hour 8: 28th (5th Hypercar) + 8 laps - 123 laps
Hour 9: 27th (5th Hypercar) + 8 laps - 139 laps
Hour 10: 26th (5th Hypercar) + 9 laps – 154 laps
Hour 11: 23rd (5th Hypercar) + 9 laps - 171 laps
Hour 12: 22nd (5th Hypercar) + 9 laps - 187 laps

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