Round four of the FIA World Endurance Championship takes place this weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy.
Alpine Elf Endurance Team will aim for a return to the podium in a field more competitive than ever in Hypercar.
Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Matthieu Vaxiviere will defend their leadership in the drivers’ general classification at the "Temple of Speed".
FIA World Endurance Championship leaders after the gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Matthieu Vaxiviere are keen to kick off the second half of their season this week at Monza.
The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza joined the calendar in 2021. The Italian track is lightning fast, with long straights and high-speed corners interspersed with heavy braking zones required to deal the occasional chicanes. The Alpine Elf Endurance Team excelled there last year with a flawless performance to finish runner-up at one of motorsport's most celebrated circuits.
With the lessons learnt last year, thanks to its ability to adapt to the subtleties of this extremely specific circuit, the team is determined to bounce back after seeing its run of eight consecutive podium finishes snapped at Le Mans. Les Bleus will also be able to put their operational excellence to good use, as well as the experience and cohesion of its drivers at the "Temple of Speed".
However, the challenge will be greater than ever in the Hypercar premier category, with an ever-increasing and ever-ambitious number of competitors. Alpine Elf Endurance Team will compete against two Toyotas, one Glickenhaus and now two Peugeots, who have been invited to the fray in the middle of the season.
Nevertheless, the target for the whole team will be simple: to aim for the best possible result by combining focus, humility, serenity and reliability. The team will need to maintain pressure on its rivals and get off to a good start in the second half of the season before the final two rounds in Fuji and Bahrain.
Round four of the calendar returns to the traditional format with a single free practice session on Friday and two more the following day. The n°36 trio will use this time to fine-tune the A480 for Saturday evening’s qualifying session and the 6 Hours of Monza race, which starts at midday on Sunday.
Philippe Sinault, Alpine Elf Endurance Team Principal
"Tradition says that once you finish the 24 Hours of Le Mans, there are few parts left that are still good to go. In this context, we have prepared ourselves well with a nearly brand-new prototype for Monza. Although the team was unsettled just a bit following our last result, we quickly put that behind us. We will arrive in Italy, intending to get back on the podium as quickly as possible and stay in the thick of the fight for the world titles. We are sure that the problems we had last month were just isolated incidents and not related to the car's preparation. We will have the opportunity to demonstrate this as early as this week on a track quite similar to Le Mans with its low downforce profile, extremely aggressive chicanes and kerbs. This circuit requires constant focus, and I feel that the entire team and the drivers are extremely motivated by the sporting challenge that awaits them, especially in this race where the field will welcome Peugeot. We are delighted to see the premier category field growing, and we look forward to taking on these new rivals as well as our usual ones!"
Friday 8 July
3:30-5 pm: Free practice 1
Saturday 9 July
9-10:30 am: Free practice 2
1:30-2:30 pm: Free practice 3
5:50-6 pm: Qualifying
Sunday 10 July
12-6 pm: 6 Hours of Monza