A new challenge for the Alpine A480 in the land of the rising sun

A new challenge for the Alpine A480 in the land of the rising sun


A new challenge for the Alpine A480 in the Land of the Rising Sun


After America and Europe, the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship is now heading to the Far East to begin its Asian tour that will continue until the end of the season in Bahrain.

Just a few days after its success in the 6 Hours of Monza, the Alpine A480 headed to Fuji for a cruise. It was only today that the Alpine Elf Endurance Team returned to their Hypercar to fine-tune their preparations for the final round of the calendar.

Located a hundred kilometers from Tokyo, with Mount Fuji in the background, Fuji Speedway is a Mecca for Endurance. Length of 4.563 km, its route is characterized by a straight line of 1.5 km leading to a section consisting of fast curves and two other more sinuous sectors.

In early 1978, the brand with the arrow A shone there with the victory of the A441 of Masahiro Hasemi and Kazuyoshi Hoshino in the 500 km of Fuji. In the 21st century, The Blues echoed this glorious past, delighting their Japanese fans by popping champagne at Fuji., every year, between 2015 and 2018. In 2015, the Alpine A450b also scored its first world podium in LMP2!

After two editions were canceled due to the pandemic, Fuji is back on the calendar this year. Despite its experience, the Alpine Elf Endurance Team will face new challenges, as the A480 will detect Fuji. In addition to finding the perfect balance between aerodynamic finesse and good traction when exiting hard turns, the team will also have to look to the sky when the autumn rains arrive on the Japanese islands.

If the weather is unpredictable, it often poses a problem in the race, the Alpines have repeatedly lowered themselves in these conditions. On this circuit after smiling at the Blues in the past, however it should not be forgotten that the main rivals of the team will be playing at home and therefore will have the advantage of the field at a crucial time in the battle of drivers and operators. builder titles.

On the strength of its lessons, the team will however be determined to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself, especially thanks to the excellent performance of the engineers and mechanics, having led it to victory at Sebring and Monza. Despite the fiercest competition, the number 36 Alpine A480 will also be able to rely on the experience and solidarity of its three players, united more than ever to stay ahead of the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship.

André Negrão, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Nicolas Lapierre will meet their rivals on Friday for the first two free practice sessions. The third session will be held on Saturday morning before qualifying in the afternoon. The start of the 6 Hours of Fuji will be released on Sunday at 11:00 am local time (GMT+9), i.e. 4:00 am French time.

“We are going to Fuji in good shape, better than we thought at the beginning of the year. So we are very motivated and happy to go back to Fuji and meet many of our Japanese fans there. Fuji is the mecca of international motorsport, which we have very good memories, although we are challenging our main rivals there this year. This circuit has its own specialities, including a very long straight that requires a compromise between high speed and aerodynamic load. Pulling when exiting tight bends and wear of tires are also important issues, especially if it rains. So it will be important to be very active and attentive to what is happening to remain actors and not suffer from the events and the reality of the race. However, we are sure that the characteristics of our car will allow us to shine and we have the intention to play our luck to the fullest. The goal is still to be able to fight for the title regularly before the final, and this will require a good result, which is the podium of ch liver. »

PHILIPPE SINAULT, ALPINE ELF ENDURANCE TEAM MAIN

Time (GMT+2)

Friday, September 9

4h00-5h30: Free practice 1
8:30-10:00 am: Free practice 2

Saturday September 10

3h20-4h20: Free practice 3
8h00-8h10: Hypercar Qualifying

Sunday September 11

4h00-10h00: 6 Hours of Fuji