The last round of the FIA World Endurance Championship took the tense competition to Texas for the 4th consecutive year. Drivers have spent the week preparing for a return to the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) for a 6 hour endurance race that will test each team’s entire arsenal of manoeuvres.
The championship has so far been promising for the Signatech Alpine team, who have dominated their category and finished in the top two LMP2 positions in 4 out of 5 championship races. However, even though they command an impressive 30-point lead, with 4 races still to go it’s still anyone’s series.
The COTA circuit stretches over 5 and a half kilometres and between its significant elevation changes and 20 different turns, the track’s layout is really demanding. The mixture of full throttle and tight corners means that audiences were not disappointed with those 6 hours of racing designed to test every nerve in the pilots. The track’s spectacular layout gave teams plenty of chances to implement new strategies and more than enough opportunities to win the race.
The number 36 Signatech Alpine car piloted by Menezes, Lapierre and Richelmi reached is 4th victory of the season in the Texan race track. The three pilots drove their car with a metronomic consistency. They constantly established a strong rythm to maintain on advantage of a full lap over their closest pursuers.
Bernard Ollivier, Deputy Managing Director of Alpine: “What a race! It is easy to forget with the success we are enjoying that this is still only our first season running the Alpine A460s, but it is obvious that we are continuing to make progress every time out.”
Philippe Sinault (Team Principal, Signatech-Alpine: “I think this was our most polished race since the start of the season, in every aspect, from the set-up of the cars and our strategy, to the performance of the drivers.
Nicolas Lapierre: “Our car was the class of the field throughout the weekend in Austin and we took full advantage of that in both qualifying and the race!
Stéphane Richelmi: “To finish a lap ahead of our closest rival was really rewarding. We demonstrated what we are capable of, and that fills us all with a lot of confidence moving forward.”
Gustavo Menezes: “Firstly, I need to say a big ‘thank you’ to the team for having given me the opportunity to finish the race. As an American, to take the chequered flag to win on home soil was an incredible feeling. It was unquestionably our best race of the year to-date…”