Alpine’s A424 LMDh car has undertaken its first track tests. According to the team, the car made its first low-speed run at the beginning of August in the hands of Nicolas Lapierre. The French driver got behind the wheel again on August 21 for a shakedown at Le Castellet Airport.
The following day, further running took place on the 5.8km track with a series of short stints to get to grips with the prototype and begin operational work on the car’s main components, including the gearbox, brakes and cooling system, a crucial subject amid a particularly severe heatwave in France. Mapping work on the single-turbo 3.4-liter V6 engine, developed at Viry-Châtillon, was also undertaken.
During the final day, track runs were progressively lengthened, with Alpine gathering data on the behavior of the Michelin tires. Thursday ended with a stint of around 30 laps and a total of over 700km completed. Over the course of the tests, the A424 covered over 1,000km without, said the team, any significant issues.
Bruno Famin, VP Alpine Motorsports, commented, “This first session is the culmination of months of work by the Alpine Racing teams and our partners. Our initial assessment is satisfactory, with a fairly high mileage that has enabled us to conduct our program step by step. In these early stages of development, the priorities are to validate the fundamental systems and work on reliability whilst beginning to fine-tune the prototype. The drivers were fairly happy with the car, although there were some difficult points, which we are already working on in preparation for the next tests. But we have to be realistic: the work has only just begun. We still have a huge amount of work to do in an extremely short timespan before our first race.”
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