Alpine might also be involved in Formula One, but Sunday at the Autodromo Nationale di Monza saw the company’s world endurance team take advantage of a Toyota mistake to win their second race of the season at the 6 Hours of Monza as Andre Negrao, Nicholas Lapierre and Mathieu Vaxiviere edged Rio Hirakawa, along with Sebastian Buemi and Brendon Hartley by only 2.7 seconds, with the sister Toyota of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobyaschi and Jose Maria Lopez third.
The American Glickenhaus entry took the lead early in the race, but a couple of hours later the team retired with turbo failures, giving the Conway entry a battle with the lonely Alpine.
Both cars traded the lead back and forth for most of the race, up to one hour left before Kobayashi collided on the straight with Vaxiviere, ripping off the rear left side of his car and puncturing his tyre. In addition, Kobayashi was given a penalty and dropped down the grid.
But the Le Mans winning car, with Hirakawa at the controls, began to catch the Alpine, but time ran out as both cars had to battle lap traffic - just giving enough space for the French team to win their second race of the season after triumphing at the season opener at Sebring.
The rest of the classes were just as exciting as the LMP2 class had the WRT team, led by Ferdinand Habsburg, Rui Andrade and Norman Nato took the lead with 30 minutes to go by having a quicker pit stop than their JOTA rivals of Antonio Felix Da Costa, Antonio Gonzalez and Will Stevens. The WRT team went on to win the race. Vector Sport took third for the first time in their history.
The GTE PRO class had the Ferraris lead most of the race, but with just under two minutes to go, the AF Corse entry of Miguel Molina and Antonio Fucco pitted for a quick fuel stop. But the Corvette, who had been up front for most of the race, suddenly took a risk and conserved fuel, as Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy continued to win over the second entered Ferrari of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi, with Molina’s car finishing in third.
The-all female crew of Iron Dames might have taken the pole, but the Dempsey-Proton team of Harry Tincknell, Christian Reid and Andy Priaulx overtook the trio in the second hour of the race and never looked back. But the history was already made as Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey finished in second place, which was their best yet in this class. Third was the Team Project 1 Porsche entry. A tough moment midway through the race as TF Sport’s Enrique Chavez lost his brakes and somersaulted on contact with the sausage kerbs at the second chicane. Chavez was checked over and released.
The next race in this series will go to Asia as Fuji Speedway near Tokyo, Japan will host the Six-hour race on September 27th.