SIGNATECH ALPINE SCORES MAIDEN WEC VICTORY!
Blue is beautiful!
The Signatech Alpine team, the reigning European Le Mans Series (ELMS) double champions, took on a major challenge this season by moving up to the next level, the World Endurance Championship (WEC). And with success as this weekend the French team scored its maiden victory in the WEC on only its seventh outing! In Shanghai, the driver line-up was slightly reshuffled with Tom Dillmann, fresh from his eighth place in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series after scoring points (including a top-3 finish in Monaco) in nine out of the 12 races, joining team regulars, Nelson Panciatici and Paul-Loup Chatin. He slotted into the French squad without problems and mastered the difficult conditions in the race in which the trio finished first, a lap in front of the LM P2 championship leaders, the no. 26 Ligier JS P2-Nissan run by G-Drive Racing. Signatech Alpine has been on a roll since the mid-point of the world championship. In the Austin 6 Hours it missed out on a top-3 finish by a whisker and then in Fuji at the beginning of October, the French team saw the flag in second place followed by victory in China with the A450b.
A great triple stint from Alex Brundle saw the Pegasus Racing Team Total make the most of the conditions to lead the LMP2 race during the first 4 hours. With the track drying in the last 2 hours, the #29 Morgan-Nissan would eventually earn Brundle and his Chinese teammates Ho-Pin Tung and David Cheng a creditable fifth place finish.
Porsche leaves its mark on endurance racing
With one race to go, the Bahrain 6 Hours in November, Porsche clinched the manufacturers’ world championship title* with another double in China today, Sunday, the fourth victory on the bounce for Webber-Hartley-Bernhard, who are also well placed to win the drivers’ crown. But on the Shanghai circuit Audi made them work hard for their success. Once again Toyota was unable to pose a threat to the supremacy of the two German manufacturers. Porsche will also be aiming for the titles in LM GTE Pro with Richard Lietz and his 911 RSR, while in LM GTE Am the battle for the titles will be fought out between the SMP Racing and AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italias in Bahrain on 21st November.
Nelson Panciatici (Signatech Alpine driver):
“We constructed this victory together out on the track and in the pits. It’s our first win in the world championship; it’s a very important one for Alpine and I’m proud to have contributed to it. Conditions were difficult, but we managed to avoid all the traps. Our Alpine A450b was quick right from the word go. We felt confident so we really pushed. And we succeeded!”
*Subject to the publication of the official results by the FIA.
Next round: 6 Hours of Bahrain (21 November)