Published on November 21st, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
ALPINE Grabs a Podium in the Land of a Thousand and One Nights
Having already secured the LMP2 category world title, the no.36 Signatech-Alpine ended the 6 Hours of Bahrain in third place. This was seventh podium in nine races for Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre and Stéphane Richelmi. In the no.35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine, Paul-Loup Chatin, Ho-Pin Tung and David Cheng delivered a solid performance. They finished the race in sixth position.
Right from the word go, the Signatech-Alpine showed in qualifying that it was going to be on the pace this weekend. Following the demotion of the no.26 G-Drive, Gustavo Menezes and Stéphane Richelmi secured the no.36 crew’s second pole position of the season, whilst Paul-Loup Chatin and David Cheng finished seventh in the LMP2 class in the no.35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine.
The 6 Hours of Bahrain got underway on Saturday at 4pm local time, just as sunlight was beginning to fade. When the lights went out, Gustavo Menezes raced away in front. The Californian moved several lengths clear with an authoritative start, before then keeping his rivals at bay throughout his double stint.
With Paul-Loup Chatin behind the wheel, the early stages of the Baxi DC Racing Alpine’s race were equally solid. The Frenchman moved up to sixth place before handing over to Ho-Pin Tung, just as Nicolas Lapierre took over from Gustavo Menezes in the no.36 car. On his first stint, the Frenchman noted a drop-off in performance. However, thanks to the driver’s talent, the no.36 Signatech-Alpine held onto the lead until the halfway stage of the race.
Meanwhile, Ho-Pin Tung produced a stunning performance in the no.35 car. During his triple stint, the Chinese driver fought up to second place. He then handed over to David Cheng, whilst Stéphane Richelmi took over from Nicolas Lapierre. Like his team-mate, Stéphane suffered from a lack of grip with his tyres. The Monegasque limited the time lost as much as possible but he dropped back to fourth place.
For the final hour, Nicolas Lapierre resumed driving duties. He produced a superb effort on fresh rubber to sneak into the podium places with twelve minutes to go!
Similarly, Paul-Loup Chatin was handed the task of finishing the race after David Cheng’s double stint. He brought home the Baxi DC Racing Alpine in sixth place.