On Thursday, February 2, the Club de l’Ouest unveiled the names of the 56 competitors invited to the 24 Hours of Le Mans : seven ORECA 03 will be at the start of the 80th edition of the legendary twice around the clock race. Finishing second in 2011 thanks to the Signatech-Nissa team, and author of the fastest race lap in LMP2, the prototype designed in Signes will this time be looking for victory.
To accomplish this mission, ORECA has the pleasure of relying on six teams : ADR-Delta, Boutsen Ginion Racing, Pecom Racing, Race Performance, Signatech-Nissan (2 cars) and Thiriet by TDS Racing. In addition, Murphy Prototypes is third in line on the reserve list.
« ORECA is very proud and happy to see seven ORECA 03 chosen by the ACO for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, » declares Hugues de Chaunac. « The objective now is to do everything possible so that one of these teams takes the LMP2 win. Our design team worked hard this winter while keeping in the spirit of the category. On this subject, you have to congratulate the ACO, who have established a new rules package that allows LMP2s to gain such success. There is a lot of diversity, as is quality. We are relishing the opportunity to go up against constructors like Morgan, Lotus, Lola, Honda, Norma and Zytek.»
The ORECA 03 will be entered in the World Endurance Championship by ADR-Delta, Pecom Racing and Signatech-Nissan. Six teams are also in the entry list of the European Le Mans Series : Boutsen Ginion Racing, Murphy Prototypes, Pecom Racing, Race Performance, Sébastien Loeb Racing and Thiriet by TDS Racing.
« We know the teams who have trusted us well and we know they are capable of playing for the win, » explains Hugues de Chaunac. « Some of them were already present in 2011 and took the first successes for the ORECA 03. Other are joining us for a new adventure and they have the same chances to shine. We aren’t hiding the fact that we are looking for the highest step in the podium as a constructor, even if we know the competition has sharpened their weapons, both in Europe and around the world. »
Hugues de Chaunac is also pleased with the number of countries represented in the ORECA customer racing program. « Our delegation is very eclectic, » he confirms. « We can count on English, Belgian, French, Italian-Argentinian, Irish, and Swiss teams. Our next ambition is to see the ORECA 03 running in the United States, a country we hold dear. It’s one of our priorities. »
Although ORECA will not be present in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series in 2012, several Formula Le Mans cars, built in the Var workshops of ORECA, will be on track. It’s quite a success for the LMPC class, which promesses to have intense battles with teams who raise the bar from year to year.
The competitors in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the American Le Mans Series will join together during the season kick off at the 12 Hours of Sebring (March 17), a few days after the European Le Mans Series’ official test days.