The result of the Lapierre/Negrão/Menezes crew was obtained thanks to a strategy focused on efficiency, paired with fuel and tyre management.
Alpine therefore heads for the season-ending finale in Bahrain on 18 November with its hopes still alive of retaining the LMP2 world title.
The cars lined up on the starting grid in grey, overcast conditions at the #shanghai International Circuit. The no.36 #alpine A470 began in fifth place in the LMP2 class following a frustrating time in qualifying, during which André Negrão had been held up on his fastest lap.
The opening corners of the race were eventful, with Nico Müller (no.26 car) spinning in the middle of the field. Nicolas Lapierre took advantage of the incident to race clear and end the opening lap in second position in the LMP2 category, just behind Bruno Senna (no.31 car).
Quickly adopting a pace aimed at preserving the car's fuel and tyres, Nico remained second throughout his first two stints. He then handed over to André Negrão, who managed to withstand the pressure he was put under by his rivals whilst also keeping clear of the many clashes throughout the field.
Shortly before the race's halfway point, the Brazilian handed over driving duties to Gustavo Menezes, who also completed two stints. Like his team-mates, the Californian adopted the strategy defined by the team: he stayed as close as possible to the leader, whilst managing fuel consumption and looking after the tyres.
With an hour and a half of the race left to go, Nicolas Lapierre got back in the car for the final two stints. At that point, the competitors showed their hands and the various race strategies became fully apparent.
Like the no.31 car, which went on to win the race, the no.36 #alpine A470 only made seven pit stops in six hours, compared with eight for the no.13 and 38 cars, the other leading contenders who were ultimately relegated to third and fourth positions.
Thanks to its haul of 18 points, Signatech #alpine Matmut consolidates its third place in the LMP2 Teams championship standings. Trailing the top two by 23 and 19 points respectively, the French squad remains in the title race. The ninth and final round of the season will be held on 18 November at the Bahrain International Circuit.
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