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Alpine Drivers Extend Points Lead with 6H Monza Win

Alpine beats Toyota to win dramatic, hard-fought 6H Monza and extend points lead…

Photo: MPS Agency

Andre Negrao, Nicolas Lapierre and Matthieu Vaxiviere extended their points advantage at the top of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Hypercar standings by winning a dramatic and closely-fought 6 Hours of Monza.

The drivers of the No. 36 Alpine A480 Gibson took the race victory ahead of Ryo Hirakawa, Brendon Hartley and Sebastien Buemi in the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid.

The early exchanges of Sunday’s six-hour contest were dominated by Glickenhaus, with the American squad’s No. 708 Glickenhaus 007 Pipo showing strong pace in the first half.

Their challenge unraveled after the halfway point when Pipo Derani was forced to serve a penalty for speeding under a Full Course Yellow. 

Not long after that, the Podium Advanced Technologies-assisted team dropped out of the race entirely when a sudden turbocharger failure ended its race.

With both debuting Peugeots also suffering numerous issues, the battle evolved into a fight between Alpine and both Toyotas. 

In the fifth hour, the No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez assumed the lead, with the No. 8 car second and the Alpine third.

Vaxiviere subsequently fought his way back up, passing the No.8 car of Ryo Hirakawa before engaging in a lengthy battle with Kobayashi that dramatically culminated with contact on the main straight, causing a spectacular right-rear puncture for Kobayashi.

After the No. 7 Toyota was also made to serve a penalty for causing the incident, it left Alpine clear to claim its second win of the season.

In LMP2, Realteam by WRT took its first victory of the season as Rui Andrade, Ferdinand Habsburg and Norman Nato beat the No. 38 JOTA crew of Antonio Felix da Costa, Roberto Gonzalez and Will Stevens.

The WRT lineup fought its way through the race and led in the first half even as multiple class contenders dropped away. United Autosports’ No. 22 Oreca, an early leader, encountered throttle sensor issues and fell out of contention.

From there, JOTA’s No. 28 car led the race for a large chunk before it was eliminated when Jonathan Aberdein had contact with the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Kevin Estre at Lesmo 2 while running in fourth, although still in contention for the victory.

After that, its sister car ran in the lead until a shorter stop for Habsburg saw the Austrian vault ahead of Stevens. With the Briton unable to close the gap on aging triple-stinted tires, Habsburg went on to claim victory.

Vector Sport took its first podium finish in the WEC with Nico Mueller, Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Cullen third in the No. 10 Oreca.

Inter Europol Competition finished fourth, with United Autosports’ No. 23 car completing the top five in class.

Late Ferrari Splash Sees Corvette Win GTE-Pro

In GTE-Pro, Corvette Racing took its first WEC class victory outside of the 24 Hours of Le Mans after a late splash from the leading Ferrari.

Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner were running in second place in the No. 64 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R and looked set for a podium finish when the No. 52 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Miguel Molina and Antonio Fuoco had to stop for enough fuel to reach the end.

The No. 52 Ferrari led the way after its sister car served a penalty for a technical infringement, which dropped the sister car to third after leading much of the early exchanges.

From there, Alessandro Pier Guidi went on to fight a heated, contact-heavy battle with Estre in the No. 92 Porsche.

The Porsche driver was ultimately given a drive-through penalty for contact with Pier Guidi as well as the earlier incident with JOTA’s Aberdein.

Estre and Michael Christensen finished fourth, while Gianmaria Bruni and Frederic Makowiecki rounded out the top five.

Dempsey-Proton Racing took GTE-Am, with the No. 77 Porsche of Christian Ried, Harry Tincknell and Sebastian Priaulx winning in a race that was marred by a major accident for the class pole-sitting No. 33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR driven by Henrique Chaves.

Chaves, along with Ben Keating and Marco Sorensen, led into the first half of the race after taking the class lead from the pole-sitting No. 85 Iron Dames Ferrari of Rahel Frey, Sarah Bovy and Michelle Gatting.

That was until Chaves needed to serve a stop-and-go penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

When he rejoined the track, he appeared to lose control of the car approaching the Roggia chicane, before a hit with a curb sent the car flying through the air, landing on its roof and rolling over once more before coming to a rest against the barrier.

Chaves walked away from the crash under his own power and was checked and cleared from the medical center.

Iron Dames moved back out in front after the penalty but lost the lead to Dempsey-Proton when the No. 77 Porsche stopped under the FCY caused by Kobayashi’s puncture.

The all-female squad went on to finish second, with the podium completed by Team Project 1’s No. 46 Porsche driven by Matteo Cairoli, Mikkel Pedersen and Niki Leutwiler.

RESULTS: 6 Hours of Monza

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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