11 June 2023
Still fighting and determined after their impressive comebacks were jeopardised by a tricky night which kept them out of the top ten, the two Alpine Elf Endurance Team crews stepped up the pace led by Charles Milesi and Olli Caldwell.
Back in action, Charles Milesi put in another sparkling triple stint on the 24 Hours of Le Mans Circuit. Among the fastest drivers on the track, the Frenchman pulled off a series of moves to move up to sixth place whilst rejoining the lead lap while the Briton was consistent in moving up the classification.
As dawn approached, Matthieu Vaxiviere and André Negrão took over to continue to make up ground on their direct rivals. Both took advantage of their triple stints to consolidate their respective positions before Charles Milesi and Memo Rojas took over to continue their teammates' fight.
With six hours to go, the #36 Alpine Elf Endurance Team is fifth in its category while the #35 is tenth.
Olli Caldwell: "I got to experience the start and finish of the night of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It's more challenging and enjoyable if you manage to avoid trouble, rivals making mistakes or the mentally draining aspect of being on your own, as was the case on most of my triple stint. I think there is some damage to the car, as it feels less stable since the accident in which Memo was involved. It was difficult for me to find all the confidence I needed at high speeds, and we didn't have the pace we'd hoped for before dawn, but we'll keep battling right through to the finish."
Julien Canal: "It was a tough night, not least because I made my first mistake in a race at Le Mans in 14 years. I was too optimistic when I was up front on the restart. It was hard to swallow, but the track was super tricky at that point. However, I had another good night's stint, setting off in good spirits before a long safety car period. I made the most of it to get my head back in the race, overtake Andrade on the outside of the second chicane and hold off several pro drivers. We've made many improvements to the car since we tested, so I'm pleased with our comeback and confident heading into the race's final hours."
Philippe Sinault, Alpine Elf Endurance Team Principal: "The race calmed down, as it should have, there are gaps now, and the classification has stabilised with the n°36 in fifth place and the n°35 in tenth. Despite the absence of rain forecasted before the finish, the action will settle down and we can still hope for something in the last six hours. We'll have to push and be flawless in every way to get better positions and we'll give it everything we've got to make it happen."
Alpine Elf Endurance Team n°35
André Negrão – Olli Caldwell – Memo Rojas
Start: 19th / H+6: 10th / H+12: 12th /18: 10th
Alpine Elf Endurance Team n°36
Matthieu Vaxiviere – Charles Milesi – Julien Canal
Start : 23rd / H+6: 13th / H+12: 8th / H+18: 5th