Following the initial summer tests at Circuit Paul Ricard, the Alpine and Signatech teams worked on further developments to the A424 and finalised the car's definitive management software.
All these new features were tested during work days in the simulator, followed by a full-scale run on the Lurcy-Lévis circuit, with 780 km completed during two days of pre-testing. As well as validating these choices, this running also provided an opportunity to fine-tune the brake systems, differential systems and a rash of other essential points. A sound preparation ahead of optimising the session at Aragon.
Last Wednesday, the Alpine A424 began a new development session at Motorland with a copious two-day programme. Punctuated by short and long runs, the laps on the track and the drivers' impressions of the car provided valuable data and information for the engineers.
On day one, 758km - including two 36-lap runs - were completed in the afternoon by Nicolas Lapierre, enabling the teams to work on various elements of the car, particularly the ride height, to optimise the aerodynamics.
The target of the long, double-stint runs was to understand the endurance of the Michelin WEC 2024 tyres and the thermal behaviour under the bonnet. The short runs, meanwhile, were used to adjust the aerodynamic balance, weight distribution and the hybrid system deployment.
The teams also took advantage of these two days of testing to begin more in-depth work on the mechanical setup.
The Alpine A424 will be back on track at Jerez from 17 to 19 October for two more days of testing ahead of the first endurance session, scheduled for mid-November, with the homologation deadline fast approaching! Before that, the A424 will return to Viry-Châtillon to allow the engineers to continue fine-tuning all the so-called 'garage' phases - including the fire-up - and to analyse the electrical and electronic components.
Bruno Famin, VP, Alpine Motorsports: "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."
Philippe Sinault, Alpine Endurance Team Principal: "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 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."