Alpine’s A424 Hypercar completes first track test

Alpine’s FIA WEC-bound A424 Hypercar, which was revealed at Le Mans in June, has completed its first major test, completing over 1000 kilometers of running over four-days at French circuit Paul Ricard.

This test follows the ORECA-based LMDh car’s initial fire-up and simulator tests in July, and its first low-speed run earlier this month.

The first step was a shakedown at Le Castellet Airport (which sits adjacent to the circuit’s pit straight) on Monday with French racer Nicolas Lapierre behind the wheel. Lapierre was one of three drivers to share driving duties over the four days, the other two being fellow Signatech WEC drivers Charles Milesi and Matthieu Vaxiviere.


On the first day of the test, Alpine put the car through a series of short runs and begin operational work on the main components, including the Xtrac gearbox, brakes and cooling system. The team also focused on the mapping of the single-turbo 3.4-litre V6 engine developed at Viry-Chatillon with partner Mecachrome.

On Thursday the car underwent longer runs, allowing the team to gather data and monitor its performance with the Michelin tire. The final run ended with a stint of around 30 laps and a total of over 700 km.

“This first session is the culmination of months of work by the Alpine Racing teams and our partners,” said Bruno Famin, VP Alpine Motorsports.

“Our initial assessment is satisfactory, with a fairly high mileage that has enabled us to conduct our program step by step. In these early stages of development, the priorities are to validate the fundamental systems and work on reliability while beginning to fine-tune the prototype.

“The drivers were fairly happy with the car, although there were some difficult points, which we are already working on in preparation for the next tests. But we have to be realistic: the work has only just begun. We still have a huge amount of work to do in an extremely short timespan before our first race.”

Philippe Sinault, Alpine Elf Endurance’s team principal, who also manages the Signatech outfit that runs Alpine’s current LMP2 effort in the FIA WEC, was also extremely positive about the test.

“For the first time in our history, we have the opportunity to be involved in such a large-scale project right from the start,” he said. “Seeing the A424 take to the track for the first time was a real thrill. This project also brings its share of challenges, as the Alpine Racing teams and our own are working together to get the most out of the Alpine A424.

“The first overall impression is rather positive, and the absence of blocking problems since the first laps has enabled us to get to know the car fairly quickly.

“Our knowledge of the car will grow as the development tests continue. The next six months will certainly be intense until our first race in Qatar, but everyone in the team is more than motivated to rise to the challenge.”

Next up on Alpine’s schedule is a visit to Motorland Aragon in Spain in September.

Alpine isn’t the only manufacturer putting a new LMDh challenger through its paces this month at Paul Ricard. Lamborghini has also been running, though track time with its SC63 has been cut short after an incident.

Screen grabs from circuit CCTV after the incident showed the car stopped at Turn 11 with signs of substantial damage after an impact with the barriers.

There is no official word on the condition of either the car or the driver, who is understood by RACER to have been Lamborghini works driver Mirko Bortolotti.

Bortolotti is one of four confirmed drivers for the Lamborghini Hypercar/GTP effort, which will race the SC63 in the full 2024 FIA WEC season and the IMSA Endurance Cup races after Daytona. He currently leads the DTM championship and competes with PREMA in the FIA WEC’s LMP2 class.

Reached by RACER Lamborghini Squadra Corse declined to comment about the incident.

Story originally appeared on Racer