Published on June 11, 2022 at 10:11 p.m. – updated on June 11, 2022 at 11:37 p.m.
Blocked in the pits twice for a total close to half an hour due to a problem with the clutch, the Alpine is already relegated to seven laps behind the Toyotas after six hours of racing and can no longer hope to win. 24 hours of Le Mans.
The long-awaited duel did not last long. While Nicolas Lapierre made Toyota doubt this Thursday during the Hyperpole, Alpine will not be the team that will challenge the domination of the Japanese manufacturer at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Indeed, if the five prototypes of the Hypercar category remained relatively close during the first hour of racing on the Circuit de la Sarthe, the situation changed very quickly. Indeed, if the Glickenhaus n°709 of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Franck Mailleux lost some time in the pits due to a faulty sensor which had to be replaced, it is the A480 powered by Gibson that lost the most time due to a technical problem. While the crew of number 36 received a “drive through” after three hours of racing due to speeding in the pit lane, it was shortly before the end of the fourth hour of racing that things went wrong. After his stop, the Alpine entrusted to Mathieu Vaxivière was unable to leave and was returned to its box.
— Alpine Endurance Team (@SignatechAlpine) June 11, 2022
Toyota runs like clockwork
After thirteen minutes of intervention at the rear of the prototype, number 36 was able to resume the race but trailed by four laps from the head of the race. Questioned by the press shortly after giving up his place at the wheel, Mathieu Vaxivière confirmed problems with the clutch. ” As soon as I passed the first, it cut. I think it’s the clutch control. They did a good job to get us back on track but we lost a lot of time, confided the Alpine driver. It’s hard to keep up. We have to show them that we are still there, put maximum pressure on them. But in the second sector there is no racing… We lack a lot of top speed. We don’t get knocked down. We will try not to make any mistakes. However, seven laps after returning to the track, André Negrão brought the A480 back to the pits for just under ten minutes, which put him back on the track in 35th place at seven laps. On the Toyota side, apart from a small gravel excursion by José Maria Lopez at the wheel of the GR010 Hybrid bearing the number 7 shortly before the conclusion of the fourth hour of the race, the running plan seems to hold with the n°8 which leads in front of the n°7 at the quarter of the event.
ENDURANCE – WEC / 24 HOURS OF LE MANS
Ranking after 6 hours of racing – Saturday June 11, 2022
1- Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 (Conway-Kobayashi-Lopez/GBR-JAP-ARG/Toyota GR010 Hybrid) 98 laps
2- Toyota Gazoo Racing n°8 (Buemi-Hartley-Hirakawa/SUI-NZL-JAP/Toyota GR010 Hybrid) at 8”049
3- Glickenhaus Racing n°708 (Pla-Dumas-Derani/FRA-FRA-BRE/Glickenhaus 007 LMH) at 2’43”465
4- Glickenhaus Racing n°709 (Briscoe-Westbrook-Mailleux/USA-GBR-FRA/Glickenhaus 007 LMH) at 3’25”878
5- JOTA n°38 (Gonzalez-Felix da Costa-Stevens/MEX-POR-GBR/Oreca 07-Gibson) at 2 laps (1st LMP2)
28- Alpine Elf Team n°26 (Negrão-Lapierre-Vaxivière/BRE-FRA-FRA/Alpine A480-Gibson) at 7 laps
29- #63 Corvette Racing (Garcia-Taylor-Catsburg/ESP-USA-PBS/Chevrolet Corvette C8.R) at 8 laps (1st LMGTE Am)
38- Weathertech Racing n°79 (MacNeil-Andlauer-Merrill/USA-FRA-USA/Porsche 911 RSR-19) at 9 laps (1st LMGTE Am)
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