For the team’s fourth participation in the 24 Hours with the ORECA 07, JOTA Sport pulled off a one-two five years after the British outfit’s first victory with the chassis. Roberto González, António Félix da Costa and Will Stevens claimed the top step on the LMP2 podium at the 90th running of Le Mans by delivering a flawless race at the wheel of the #38 ORECA 07. For the eighth consecutive year, an ORECA chassis has triumphed at the legendary 24 Hours. Twenty-six prototypes designed by ORECA Technology took the start in the race and a stunning 25 made it to the chequered flag.
The 2022 edition was surprisingly calm, interrupted by only one safety car deployment, but still highly contested particularly in the LMP2 class. At the forefront from the start after taking advantage of a penalty incurred by Team WRT’s #31 ORECA 07, JOTA’s #38 went it alone for almost the entire race.
Prema Orlen Team gave an impeccable performance for its rookie participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, landing a podium finish in the balance. The impressive pace set by the team made it a serious contender during this baptism by fire.
JOTA’s sister car rounded out the top 3 in the LMP2 class. Having battled fiercely throughout the race, drivers Oliver Rasmussen, Edward Jones and Jonathan Aberdein can be proud of their showing.
In the wake of an encouraging 2022 season so far in the FIA WEC with a fourth place overall finish, JOTA pulled out all the stops to secure a comfortable lead in its class by early Sunday morning. The #28 sister car maintained a solid pace from race start to finish.
PREMA ORLEN TEAM
With two wins in two races in the ELMS to its credit, Prema Orlen Team has shown little sign of slowing down, with a stunning second place finish for its rookie participation in the top endurance race in the world. Robert Kubica, Louis Delétraz and Lorenzo Colombo proved beyond formidable. Kubica and Delétraz had a score to settle after the 2021 edition and, so, mission accomplished!
TDS RACING x VAILLANTE
On the heels of a serious incident during Free Practice 1 and a driver change the day before the race, TDS Racing x Vaillante bounced back and demonstrated great tenacity in its climb in the classification. Having started from the 15th row, the #13 ORECA 07 shared by Mathias Beche, Nyck de Vries and Tijmen van der Helm integrated the top 5 in the 14th hour, then finished just short of the top 3.
One of the great surprises of this edition was unquestionably Team Penske’s fifth place finish. For its first appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the American team and drivers Dane Cameron, Emmanuel Collard and Felipe Nasr made quite an impression with their performance!
United Autosports USA’s #23 ORECA 07 driven by Alexander Lynn, Oliver Jarvis and Joshua Pierson finished sixth ahead of the #37 fielded by COOL Racing, making its return to the race with the 100th ORECA 07 chassis. IDEC SPORT Racing continued its successful comeback to secure the eighth spot with the #48 ahead of Richard Mille Racing’s #1 ORECA 07 respectably in ninth place. The United Autosports team’s #22 ORECA driven by 2020 winners Philip Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque, joined by William Owen, endured a hectic race from the start with a collision then a slowdown, but managed to make it into the top 10. Panis Racing with the #65 ORECA 07 worked to achieve its 11th place result after the car had an incident, finishing ahead of Inter Europol Competition’s two cars in the 13th and 14th spots and the first Pro/Am, Algarve Pro Racing’s #45, 15th overall.
Pro/Am proved highly competitive with Algarve Pro Racing’s #45 winning out in the end. Nielsen Racing reached the second step on the podium ahead of Realteam Racing’s #41 (21st overall). DKR Engineering slipped into third place in Pro/Am with AF Corse and Algarve Pro Racing’s #47 sister car rounding out the top 5. ARC Brastilava, Graff Racing and the Ultimate team followed.
Vector Sport had a difficult race and finished 22nd, while Duqueine Team unfortunately had to deal with suspension problems and finished 26th in the LMP2 class.
The Alpine team was stricken with a succession of stumbling blocks including a tricky start, a penalty for speeding in a slow zone, an electric clutch control unit problem, then coil troubles and finally an incident early Sunday. After a determined climb in the classification, Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Matthieu Vaxivière finished fifth in the Hypercar class and 23rd overall in the Alpine A480.
There was only one retirement among the 26 ORECA 07 chassis fielded in the LMP2 class: Team WRT’s #31 following an incident shortly before 11:00 on Sunday.