Conway expects Alpine to be strong at Monza

Mike Conway of the #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing expects recent Hypercar pole-sitter Alpine to perform strongly this weekend at the 6 Hours of Monza.

The #36 Alpine Elf Matmut, a grandfathered Rebellion Racing LMP1, adapted more comfortably to the Balance of Performance system measures at Portimao after their struggles at the Spa-Francorchamps opening six-hour race.

The trio of the Alpine crew all ran strong pace at Portimao, with Matthieu Vaxiviere’s first ever overall pole position for the team kicking off the momentum.

“I think with the grip they have, we’d expect him to be good,” said Conway.

“So it’s just how they do on energy management (managing the six-hours as a trio on performance, not management on KERS) throughout this stints see, we see to be better still with this but I expect them to be very fast.”

The Alpine A480 Gibson traces itself back to an LMP1 with a tailored low-downforce Le Mans aero-kit that should work well at Monza’s long straights, demanding corners and chicanes, and additionally tyre management.

Credit: Alpine Elf Matmut via Twitter (@signatechalpine)

He reckons the Glickenhaus could be closer to the Toyotas with their two-car presence, after Portimao gave a tough debut to the team on tyre management on the ‘rollercoaster’ circuit and 50 degrees Celsius track temperatures.

Glickenhaus Racing have tested at Monza twice before they debuted their SCG 007 LMH, but their focus will be on gaining more track time and working with the Michelin tyres to extract the untapped performance in their Le Mans Hypercar.

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“Since we first drove the car (GR010 Hybrid) back in, you know, last year, we’ve as drivers all been adapting pretty quickly to the new car, and what it needs, and all the demands of it, and [we are] still learning as we go on some of the systems-side and [the] setups that we’ve been showing.

“[It] still feels like we’re still exploring what the car has in terms of its potential.”

#7 TGR of Jose Maria Lopez, Mike Conway, and Kamui Kobayashi – Credit: © TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION

Mike Conway further described how it was like to have spectators back in the WEC paddock for Monza this weekend.

“It’s good to have the energy around us. You definitely feel [it], when you see people around you, and the excitement you get from everybody. I’ve experienced a little bit of that this year with some other series (like IMSA) that I’ve done.

“And it’s definitely a nice feeling, having everyone back on on the track.”

The #7 car has yet to taste victory so far this season with the sibling Toyota taking the glory thus far, even with the team orders in play at Portimao.

This Sunday’s (18 July) 6 Hours of Monza will have them seek their first Hypercar victory once again as reigning driver’s champions.