03 July 2023
First appearing on the FIA WEC race calendar in 2021, the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is universally considered one of motorsport's most emblematic and iconic circuits. Paced with long straights and fast corners interspersed with chicanes requiring heavy braking, the Italian track was the scene of Alpine's last victory at the highest level in 2022.
Less than a year later, the A-arrow brand is at the crossroads of its Endurance involvement. Shortly after making their mark on the centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Alpine teams will conduct the first fire-up of the A424 at Viry-Châtillon on Wednesday. While waiting for the first runs of its future Hypercar, which will challenge the premier class from next year, Alpine is continuing its transition campaign with its A470s in LMP2.
Alpine Elf Endurance Team has gone from strength to strength since the start of the year, underscoring its progress and demonstrating once again its operational excellence by finishing just off the podium at Le Mans.
On the equally atypical circuit of Monza, the team will rely on the experience and lessons learned in the Sarthe to confirm its resurgence in form. Les Bleus will make the most of their knowledge of the 'Temple of Speed', where it conducted productive tests in the run-up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its six drivers: André Negrão, Memo Rojas and Olli Caldwell along with Julien Canal, Charles Milesi and Matthieu Vaxiviere, who all know the track and will be more determined than ever to accelerate their upward momentum and claim their first podium of the year.
On a track where the enormous stresses on the engine and brakes will be among the many challenges with traffic, the n°35 and n°36 Alpine 470s will start in a field of 36 cars, with nine facing them in the LMP2 category.
Sixth and eleventh in the general classification heading to Italy, the two crews will aim for the best possible result, combining focus, humility and reliability to achieve their goals and keep their rivals under pressure throughout the summer break.
Round five of the calendar will return to the traditional format, with two practice sessions on Friday and a final session the following day. The team will then do its utmost to fine-tune both A470s before qualifying on Saturday afternoon and the 6 Hours of Monza, which starts at 12:30 on Sunday.
Philippe Sinault, Alpine Elf Endurance Team Principal
"We enjoyed a strong race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, so we naturally aim to confirm our high level of performance, particularly in the race. We tested at Monza in May in preparation for Le Mans and the Italian round and we're going back there intending to do well on a track that should suit us and where we have some wonderful memories of our Hypercar victory last year. However, we are cautious as we are not underestimating the specific characteristics of Monza, where the cars have a very low aerodynamic load and top speed is a key performance factor. Lastly, this will be Alpine's last LMP2 race in Europe. We want to end this first chapter on a high before plunging into the second half of the year, which promises to be particularly busy with the last two races on the calendar and the intense development programme for our future Alpine A424."
Friday 7 July
11:30-13:00: Free practice 1
16:40-18:10: Free practice 2
Saturday 8 July
10:45-11:45: Free practice 3
15:05-15:20: LMP2 Qualifying
Sunday 9 July
12:30-18:30: 6 Hours of Monza