Dakar News: Alpine and Lamborghini Play Catch-up in WEC Hypercar Debut

    The 2023 World Endurance Championship (WEC) season has seen a new generation of Hypercar competitors join the grid, including Alpine and Lamborghini. However, starting their programs a year behind Porsche and Cadillac has meant a period of adjustment and learning for these two marques.

    In the opening rounds, both Alpine and Lamborghini have experienced similar growing pains as they work to get their LMDh machines up to speed. Lamborghini’s chief technical officer Rouven Mohr admitted that “2024 is really a learning year for us” as the team continues to understand the complexities of its SC63 prototype. Similarly, the Signatech-run Alpine squad has emphasized the need to gain as much knowledge as possible with their A424 Hypercar.

    “There is a big step between the warming process in LMP2 compared to the Hypercar. It’s much more difficult,” noted Alpine’s driver Paul-Loup Chatin.

    The transition from LMP2 to the Hypercar class has proven challenging, with both teams struggling to optimize tire warm-up and overall car setup. Lamborghini has been forced to adapt its strategy, even triple-stinting tires at Imola to minimize warm-up issues in the mixed conditions. Mohr acknowledged that the team’s single-car program in the WEC, compared to Porsche and BMW’s two-car efforts, is a “disadvantage” from a development perspective.

    Despite the early challenges, there are signs of progress. Porsche’s victory in the season-opener in Qatar has demonstrated that an LMDh car can compete with the dominant LMH machines. Both Alpine and Lamborghini remain focused on the long game, with Sinault of Alpine stating, “We are really focused on that. We learn each time.”

    As the season progresses, it will be a matter of time, miles, and overcoming hurdles already cleared by their more experienced rivals before Alpine and Lamborghini can make a serious challenge at the front of the highly competitive WEC Hypercar grid.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source