A team's garage at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is just like a beehive. But in the garage of Signatech Alpine Matmut - fielding an Alpine A470-Gibson in the LMP2 category - there's a remarkable sense of organisation and calm. Engineers, mechanics, drivers, VIP guests, etc. all know their places.
In the garage, every square meter is optimised and several work zones are clearly marked. There's the area where the car is parked when it's not on the track. Behind that is a small space for VIPs. Assistant Team Manager Olivier Bacchis: "VIPs can observe what's happening in the garage without interfering with the work being done by mechanics." Then there are areas reserved for the mechanics analysing the car's engine and chassis data, and the ones devising strategies for qualifying and the race.
Engineers, mechanics and drivers should have everything they need and put it all in designated places during the initial garage set-up.
The entire inventory of spare parts - like suspensions, gearboxes and body-related parts - are stored behind the garage in the team's semi-trailer. If the car experiences a mechanical problem, the team's mechanics rush to pull the necessary parts and get ready for their intervention. "We are in constant communication on the radio with the driver. If he detects a problem, he then lets us know and by the time he makes it back to the garage, the mechanics have had the time to pull the parts and be ready for when the car comes in," explains Bacchis.
Drivers get rest and sleep, eat and replenish their fluids, and get massages in the semi-trailer or in the team's hospitality suite in the support paddock.
Diligence is the name of the game in the French team's garage. "These are the most cramped garages in the championship. Engineers, mechanics and drivers should have everything they need and put it all in designated places during the initial garage set-up. We try not to walk all over each other."
Take a look at the photo gallery of Signatech Alpine Matmut's garage below:
PHOTO: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES DU MANS, SATURDAY 1 JUNE, TEST DAY. French team Signatech Alpine Matmut is set up in garage number 17.