The third test of the Alpine A424 LMDh took place last week at Jerez over three days, reaching up to 1200 km of testing mileage as Mick Schumacher got his maiden outing in a sportscar.

Alpine continued their testing programme as part of their preparations for the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship as a Hypercar team.

Three current Alpine LMP2 drivers took to the wheel of the A424: Charles Milesi, André Negrão and Nicolas Lapierre.

In addition, former Haas F1 driver Mick Schumacher drove his maiden laps in the Hypercar, which is powered by a heavily modified turbocharged variant of the V6 Mecachrome engine from the outgoing Formula 2 cars.

After testing at Circuit Paul Ricard and Motorland Aragon, the Signatech Alpine outfit tested at Jerez in Spain, from 17-19 October.

Philippe Sinault, Alpine Endurance team principal, summarised his thoughts in regards to the test, which introduced night and wet weather conditions for the A424.

“Overall, we are satisfied with our tests in Jerez.

Designed for les Hunaudières at night #AlpineEnduranceTeam #AlpineRacing @24hoursoflemans

— Alpine Endurance Team (@SignatechAlpine) October 19, 2023

“Despite the ever-changing weather conditions, we found the right running windows to optimise track time and keep improving the car.

“We made significant progress, particularly in aerodynamics, onboard systems, headlight settings and other essential lighting for night runs.

“These tests were also crucial for the teams, who have to learn to work together, and we were able to put in a little more practice in what were sometimes extremely challenging conditions over these three days.

“This is another step towards the forthcoming challenges, particularly in terms of regulations.

“The pressure is mounting by the minute, but we’re moving forward calmly, well aware of the road we still have to travel.”

Night testing at Jerez showcased the aesthetic of the A424 which will eventually take on next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, an endurance race which involves a full day-night cycle of racing at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

With the chassis designed by Oreca, Alpine were able to integrate their emblem into the rear lights as it appeared when they first announced the A424.

Nicolas Lapierre, development driver, said: “The Hypercars are quite powerful and robust cars that require us to adapt our driving style.

“We have several areas to focus on, specifically tyre reaction and the energy recovery system.

“These two factors have an influence on the car’s balance, and we need to take the time to understand and master them so that we can homologate the car within a good performance window.”

Their next private test will involve a return to Aragon for a crucial endurance test. This may be the first time the A424 is tested to a 24 hour duration, an important milestone in any endurance sportscar’s pre-racing life.

Alpine A424 – Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Alpine A424 – Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Following that, Alpine’s attention will be on their homologation deadline, which fixates the car’s major qualities like the internal combustion engine and the chassis, under a five year homologation period.

Bruno Famin, Vice President at Alpine Motorsport, concluded: “This session was a new step in the development of the car and this project.

“We improve with each run, and the good news is that there’s no bad surprise, but we still have a tremendous amount of work. 

“Everyone is working hard to be firmly ready for the next steps.

“The first race in Qatar is just around the corner, and this will be the beginning of our racing learning process throughout the 2024 season.”

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