Alpine’s A424 LMDh prototype has completed 5,000 kilometers of running at its first 30-hour endurance test at Motorland Aragon in Spain.
The test adds to the car’s previous tests across Europe at Aragon, Paul Ricard and Jerez since mid-August ahead of its 2024 FIA WEC debut in the Hypercar class.
Ahead of the test, the team targeted 5,400 kilometers of running, but various issues limited the car to 5,027 kilometers, a total that the French brand is still encouraged by.
“Frankly, the team is delighted to have achieved this mileage in our first endurance test,” Bruno Famin, the vice president of Alpine Motorsports said.
“It is a satisfaction that rewards the hard work of everyone. The main aim of the session was to test reliability by looking for weak points.
“We found several of them, which we will now have to address. And quickly as time is running out: there are 100 days until the start of the season in Qatar and we still have a huge amount to do, both in terms of reliability and even more so in terms of performance
“We now need to analyze the data and learn everything we can from this session to make the most of the next one, which will be in Portimao in mid-December, to keep improving the car.”
The aforementioned issues that Alpine reported included a puncture, a turbo issue, oil and water leaks and an electrical problem. Thus, Philippe Sinault, the Alpine endurance team manager acknowledges that there is still work to be done on the car before its race debut.
“We were keen to conduct this initial endurance session for the A424 in conditions as close as possible to what we would experience in a race,” he said. “We simulated a full series of race sequences, including the start, safety car and FCY, which enabled everyone – drivers, mechanics and engineers – to acquire the operating modes and make them automatic.
“This type of session is crucial for the car and all the members of the team who have to find their bearings. We’re entering the active learning phase. We know there’s still a lot to learn when we get to Qatar at the end of February, but we’re doing everything we can to be as ready as possible.”
In addition to putting the car’s durability to the test, Alpine also utilised the time to work on the car’s general set-up and complete valuable mileage on Michelin’s tyres in the cold conditions trackside.
Alongside the test, a second A424 chassis was in use for the first stage of the car’s homologation process, on-site in North Carolina for the IMSA official tests at the Windshear wind tunnel.