Alpine and the Signatech teams completed 1500 km across two days of testing last week at Motorland Aragon, focusing on in-depth work on the mechanical and aerodynamic setup of the A424.

After the first major test outing for the Alpine A424 LMDh at Le Castellet, the second followed at Motorland Aragon on Wednesday 27 September to Thursday 28 September.

As the homologation phase approaches, this test consisted of long and shorter runs for the A424 Hypercar, which utilises an Oreca chassis and a modified Mecachrome V6 turbo powertrain paired with the LMDh specification MGU electric system from Bosch.

On the first day, 758 km was completed in the hands of current Alpine driver, Nicolas Lapierre, involving two 36-lap runs.

He gave the engineers the opportunity to adjust the ride height in order to optimise aerodynamics.

Bruno Famin, Vice-President of Alpine Motorsports, said: “The work of the various teams involved in this A424 project continues to progress, and a genuine osmosis is developing between the different actors involved, which is really pleasing.

“It’s been an intense two days. All the shakedown stages are now behind us, and we’ve got down to the nitty-gritty at Aragon, with the fine-tuning of the car’s different systems and the aero work.

“Things are moving in the right direction, but we’re only at the beginning of the process, and there’s still a tremendous amount to do in all areas.
We’re focusing on the upcoming phases, specifically the first endurance test and preparations for homologation.”

Alpine A424 steering wheel – Credit: © DPPI

On the 2024 World Endurance Championship-spec Michelin tyres, the attention was on long, double-stint runs which gave the team information about the longevity of the tyres, as well as how they impacted the thermal behaviour underneath the bonnet.

Meanwhile the shorter runs gave focus on the adjust the aerodynamic balance, weight distribution and the hybrid system deployment, with this being the first hybrid powertrain the Signatech outfit will face with its 10 years in the WEC.

Philippe Sinault, Alpine Endurance Team Principal, added: “The tests went well. The positives from the tests at Circuit Paul Ricard were confirmed at Motorland and the car continued to display a healthy behaviour.

“It was a pivotal stage in the programme because, after completing the shakedown tasks, we started to get all the car’s elements to work together: the hybrid system, engine and chassis.

“Matthieu [Vaxiviere] and Nico put in a series of stints over more than 1,500 km, sometimes even double stints, with no reliability issues, so it was quite satisfying and constructive.

“During this stage, we could really begin our operating role, with a particular emphasis on understanding the car and getting the right setups.

“The smooth running of the team was palpable on the human side, which genuinely encouraged discussions ahead of the big challenge ahead.

“We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re on the right track.”

Testing will continue at Jerez on 17-19 October, before undertaking its first endurance test session on their return to Aragon from 14-16 November.

In advance of the endurance test, and the much anticipated homologation deadline, the A424 will return to Viry-Châtillon where engineers will continue to fine-tune their Hypercar on duties like the engine fire-up, and to analyse the electrical components.

Keep an eye out later on Motorsport Week for a gallery from the Alpine A424 test at Motorland Aragon!

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