Bouncing back from a challenging Le Mans 24 Hours, the Michelin-shod Alpine A480 shared by Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxivière and André Negrão returned to its winning ways at the 6 Hours of Monza today (July 10). The French outfit beat the two similarly-tired Toyota GR010 Hybrid entries to the top step of the podium. On its eagerly-anticipated return to endurance racing, Peugeot showcased its potential on Michelin rubber. The N°64 Michelin-equipped Corvette prevailed in LMGTE Pro, with the N°77 Michelin-tired Porsche taking top spot in LMGTE Am.
A month after Michelin’s 25
Selected by the FIA to supply all cars in the headlining Hypercar class, Michelin duly provided products from its Pilot Sport range – developed specifically for international endurance racing’s new topflight – to six prototypes this weekend. As it has done since 2018, Michelin similarly equipped all the cars in the LMGTE Pro and Am categories which conversely permit competition between tire manufacturers.
The Glickenhaus 007-LMH dominated the opening half of the race after Romain Dumas had put the car on pole position. Following a drive-through penalty, however, a mechanical problem forced the American team out of the running. The subsequent three hours then produced a fierce battle between Toyota and Alpine, including a number of bold overtaking moves as the Hypercars weaved their way through slower traffic. With an hour to go, contact between the Alpine and N°7 Toyota delayed the latter, leaving the N°8 Toyota to pick up the baton...
Despite that omnipresent threat, by exploiting a double-stint strategy allowed by the consistency of its Michelin tires, the Alpine A480 went on to collect its second victory of the season after Sebring. The two new Peugeot 9X8 Hypercars demonstrated real potential during free practice and qualifying. They unfortunately ran into a variety of technical issues in the race, particularly with the N°93 in the early stages. The N°94 ultimately wound up 33
Like Alpine, Corvette Racing suffered at Le Mans and, like Alpine, bounced back in style at Monza. Also running on Michelin tires, Ferrari held sway on home soil for the majority of the race, only for the Michelin-equipped N°64 Corvette C8.R of Nick Tandy/Tommy Milner to turn the tables almost within sight of the checkered flag.
It was a similar story in LMGTE Am where – for the first time in FIA WEC history – a female driver secured pole position, with Sarah Bovy setting the pace on Michelin tires in qualifying behind the wheel of the N°85 Ferrari. On imperious form, the Iron Dames line-up of Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Bovy led the way up until the final hour, when the N°77 Michelin-equipped Porsche of Christian Ried, Sebastian Priaulx and Harry Tincknell seized the advantage.
The series’ next race will be the 6 Hours of Fuji in Japan on September 11.
Final Result: 6 Hours of Monza
Vaxivière/Lapierre/Negrão (Alpine A480/Michelin), 194 laps
Buemi/Hartley/Hirakawa (Toyota GR010 Hybrid/Michelin), +2.762s
Conway/López/Kobayashi (Toyota GR010 Hybrid/Michelin), +2 laps
Andrade/Habsburg/Nato (Oreca07-Gibson), +6 laps
González/da Costa/Stevens (Oreca07-Gibson), +6 laps