Credit: © Julien Delfosse / DPPI
Alpine conducted their fourth test session for the A424 Hypercar, being its maiden endurance test encountering some challenges en route to 5027 km of extensive running at the Motorland Aragon track.
Ahead of its debut in the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship, Alpine have been testing their A424 LMDh to prepare for their maiden Hypercar campaign since running the ‘grandfathered’ Rebellion R13 LMP1 in Alpine’s sole participation in the top class.
With a chassis made by Oreca and a Mecachrome V6 turbo engine, coupled to the LMDh specification Bosch MGU hybrid gear, completed a 30-hour endurance test at the Motorland Aragon venue where they tested once already.
They were not able to reach their objective of 5400 km in 30 hours, due to some challenges they faced during the test, which pushed the car to its capabilities simulating the long, grueling races that make up the WEC, and a straight which replicates the high speeds at Le Mans.
The first eight hours ran with no issues, until the occurrences of a puncture, turbo issues, oil and water leaks as well as an electrical problem which “briefly interrupted” the A424’s first endurance test.
Bruno Famin, Vice President at Alpine Motorsports, said: “Frankly, all the team is delighted to have achieved this mileage in our first endurance test.
“It is a satisfaction that rewards the hard work of everyone. The main aim of the session was to test reliability by looking for weak points.
“We found several of them, which we will now have to address.”
All of the Alpine Endurance LMP2 drivers took part: Nicolas Lapierre, Charles Milesi, and Matthieu Vaxiviere.
Vaxiviere and Milesi conduct a driver change
Alpine A424 at Motorland Aragon
Credit: © Julien Delfosse / DPPI
“And quickly as time is running out: there are 100 days until the start of the season in Qatar and we still have a huge amount to do, both in terms of reliability and even more so in terms of performance.
“We now need to analyse the data and learn everything we can from this session in order to make the most of the next one, which will be in Portimao in mid-December, to keep improving the car.”
Philippe Sinault, Alpine Endurance Team Manager, expanded: “We were keen to conduct this initial endurance session for the A424 in conditions as close as possible to what we would experience in a race.
“We simulated a full series of race sequences, including the start, safety car and FCY, which enabled everyone – drivers, mechanics and engineers – to acquire the operating modes and make them automatic.
“This type of session is obviously crucial for the car and all the members of the team who have to find their bearings.
“We’re definitely entering the active learning phase.
“We know there’s still a lot to learn when we get to Qatar at the end of February, but we’re doing everything we can to be as ready as possible.”
Milesi commented: “It’s been a pleasure to be involved in the car’s development for the past few months.
“It’s interesting to see how the car has advanced since its first runs and how much more there is to do.
“I think we’ve done a good job on the development so far, with an endurance format, which has been a big job for the whole team and above all an essential step for the future of the project.”
Whilst data was collected around a cold track and managing multiple stints, official tests by IMSA at the Windshear Wind Tunnel, North Carolina, took place with another A424 for the first phase of the homologation process.
Keyword: 30-hour endurance test reveals ‘several weak points’ on Alpine Hypercar