Contested on a dry track, the three free practice sessions enabled the team to fine-tune the set-up of the Alpine A470. In qualifying, Signatech Alpine Matmut waited before showing its hand. The last car to take to the track, the no.36 was driven in turns by Matt Rao and then Nicolas Lapierre. Based on the average of their fastest laps, the Alpine drivers grabbed the second best time, just 46/1,000ths off pole position!
At the start of Sunday’s race, the weather remained mild and dry, although rain was forecast for early afternoon. When the race got under way, Nicolas Lapierre took the early lead in the LMP2 class. Whilst looking after his tyres, the French driver wasted no time in putting daylight between himself and his rivals.
At the end of his double stint, Nicolas handed over driving duties to Gustavo Menezes. The Californian gradually extended his lead. After 2 hrs 30 mins, whilst leading by thirty or so seconds, Gustavo encountered the first proper shower of the race. He nonetheless managed to stay on track without coming in for treaded tyres, completing his triple stint just as yellow flags were shown for the first time, as the race came under “full course yellow”.
As Matt Rao headed out on track, he was more than a minute ahead of the rest of the LMP2 field. But this patiently built-up lead dwindled to nothing during a long safety car period. When racing resumed, the Silver category driver initially managed to contain his challengers. Struggling with his tyres, he was eventually no longer able to hold off Vaxivière (no.28) and Laurent (no.38). Despite coming into the pits to change the front left-hand tyre – subject to considerable stress on the English track – he continued to struggle with the handling of the car.
For the closing stages of the race, Nicolas Lapierre took over driving duties again in the A470. Fifth with 1 hr 20 mins to go to the chequered flag, he summoned all his strength for one final push. After quickly gaining a position, Nicolas was then hit by gearbox issues. At that point, the team decided to play it safe and content themselves with fourth position.
6 Hours of Silverstone
1.Jackie Chan DC Racing no.38 – 184 laps
2.Vaillante Rebellion no.31 +19.376
3.TDS Racing no.28 +21.268
4.Signatech Alpine Matmut no.36 +1 lap
5.G-Drive Racing no.26 +1 lap
6.CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.24 +1 lap
7.CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.25 +2 laps
8.Jackie Chan DC Racing no.37 +2 laps
9.Vaillante Rebellion no.13 +12 laps
FIA LMP2 Teams Trophy
1.Jackie Chan DC Racing no.38 – 25 points
2.Vaillante Rebellion no.31 – 18 points
3.TDS Racing no.28 – 15 points
4.Signatech Alpine Matmut no.36 – 12 points
5.G-Drive Racing no.26 – 11 points
6.CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.24 – 8 points
7.CEFC Manor TRS Racing no.25 – 6 points
8.Jackie Chan DC Racing no.37 – 4 points
9.Vaillante Rebellion no.13 – 2 points