After a thrilling start to the season at Spa-Francorchamps, the FIA #wec is about to discover a new circuit as it heads to #portugal, for the first in its history, and more specifically to Portimão.
The team is no stranger to #portugal, having sealed its second European title in 2014, but the #endurance #racing scene has since moved from Estoril to Portimão. Built in 2008, the Autódromo do Algarve is considered one of the most technical tracks in Europe with its high-speed corners and steep elevation changes making for a great show as Alpine F1 Team found out last month.
Among the many challenges awaiting Alpine Elf Matmut #endurance Team in the Algarve, the team’s three drivers will have to pay particular attention to turn one, where they will have to be extra cautious to avoid an incident. Located at the end of a nearly one-kilometre-long straight, it is preceded by a downhill braking zone that leads to a fast corner sequence, then a slower section. On the rest of the circuit, the trio will also have to apply themselves on the blind crests, which require continuous commitment, and a constant rhythm or the slightest mistake will cost them precious seconds.
The other interesting aspect of this new meeting will concern the duration of the race: eight hours versus six at Spa-Francorchamps. Anything but insignificant, this difference will offer a variety of strategies and more points at the finish with 38 for the win compared to the standard 25. As always, Alpine Elf Matmut #endurance Team will approach the race with humility, but also with the desire to become the first brand to beat Toyota in an eight-hour race in FIA #wec history.
However, the competition will be more intense with the entry of Glickenhaus #racing, not to mention the LMP2 cars that are more than capable of joining the battle for overall victory. The balance of performance will also change, with a weight increase from 930kg to 952kg for the #36 Alpine A480, and energy available per stint decreasing from 920MJ to 918MJ.
Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Matthieu Vaxiviere will use the one and only Friday free practice session to fine-tune their Hypercar before continuing their work with the operations team Saturday afternoon just until qualifying. Thirty-two cars, including four Hypercars and eleven LMP2s, will start the 8 Hours of Portimão on Sunday at 11 am local time.