Alpine’s endurance branch team principal, Philippe Sinault, revealed that the A480 was forced to pit once more than their rivals at Spa because of their fuel tank capacity. Sinault wants changes in the balance of performance to encourage competition.

The endurance world witnessed the birth of the new era of endurance racing this weekend. The 6 Hours of Spa was the first official event to host Hypercars, with Toyota engaging two cars and Alpine engaging a Privateer LMP1, which is still allowed to compete this year, in the Hypercar category.

The Hypercar family is about to grow up as Glickenhaus is set to register two cars for the next race, the 8 Hours of Portimao, on 12-13 June. Nonetheless, out of the three competitors that entered the Belgian event this weekend, in the queen class of endurance, Alpine managed to claim what could be called a “surprising” second place, still finishing more than one minute behind the race winner.

Indeed, the A480, driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao, and Matthieu Vaxiviere has shown it was able to compete with the Toyotas in terms of race pace, even if the car was slightly slower. 

Nevertheless, what really penalized Alpine this weekend was their fuel tank. Sinault revealed after the race that it was too small to allow them to stay out as long as the Toyotas did.

When the Japanese manufacturer was able to run stints of approximately 25 laps around Spa, Alpine was limited to 22. This forced the French manufacturer to pit one more time than their Japanese rival, causing them to lose dozens of seconds.

However, Sinault also pointed out the fact that the A480 could not carry higher fuel quantities as the problem comes from the size of their tank. Therefore, the French team boss asks for a balance of performance change, that would make the Toyotas run at lower fuel levels to match the capacity of the Tricolore car.

“We want to have the chance of a real victory, not just to be lucky because the other cars have problems without a change we will always be spectators,” Sinault said to Motorsport.com, referring to the multiple problems Toyota’s car number 7 encountered throughout the race.

“We are at maximum capacity.”

“It is not possible to put a bigger fuel tank in because the car is homologated like this.”

“I will try to convince the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, but they already know the problem.”

Hello there! My name is Thibault and I am a French motorsports fan. Hope you'll like my articles :)