Team ORECA-Matmut press release
Team ORECA-Matmut will play its trump card to the max!
Nicolas Lapierre, Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gené will be ambitious at Petit Le Mans…
After the 5th place finish of Lapierre/Duval/Panis at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Team ORECAMatmut is back competing in the USA for the Petit Le Mans. For this return, the team will be inspired by its last race across the pond when it garnered an overall victory. « Our performance at the 12 Hours of Sebring is our reference point, » confirms Hugues de Chaunac. « Our mission is to repeat that performance. Petit Le Mans is a long and difficult event, with lots of traps. It’s up to us to avoid problems and to be perfect at every level. We must have a flawless race. »
Alongside two official Peugeot 908 entries and against two Audi R18s, Nicolas Lapierre, Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gené are ready to fight to reach their objective set out by Hugues de Chaunac : « At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi and Peugeot had an epic battle. They are fantastic competitors and they proved this in June. We have our feet on the ground: against the R18s and alongside the 908s, we know the challenge is a difficult one. But Team ORECAMatmut is ready to fight. We are ambitious and that’s why we will do everything we can do reach the podium. »
« Thank You Fans »
After carrying the message « I Love U.S. Racing » at Sebring, Team ORECA-Matmut has decided to once again honor their fans with a new slogan, « Thank You Fans » on the front cover of the No. 10 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. « The support from the American public has surpassed what we could have imagined, » said Hugues de Chaunac. « The messages we received were touching. They motivate us to work even harder and we want to do our very best. We’ve had a lot of support this year. Because of this, we wanted to do something to thank all of our fans, whether they be American or European. It’s our last race in 2011 : it’s the moment to give everyone a smile and say Thank You, Fans. » Based at Road Atlanta during its ALMS campaign with the Dodge Viper, ORECA has participated in the Petit Le Mans three times, with a 1-2-3 in GTS in 1999, a second place in class the following year, then a 5th place overall in 2009 with the ORECA 01. Petit Le Mans September 22, 2011
The Team ORECA-Matmut has excellent memories from this last trip to Georgia. So much so, that David Floury, Technical Director, attended last year’s race as a spectator. « I took the opportunity to walk a lap during the race. It’s something that I don’t get to do often, but I appreciate even more when it’s in the USA! » he explains. « The message ‘I Love US Racing’ is still in our hearts. The ambiance is so special and the closeness with which teams interact with other teams and even fans has no equal. Petit Le Mans is always a popular success. There are lots of corrals and the campers are always original. I love it! »
In a technical aspect, the event will once again be enriching for the Team ORECA-Matmut, who will be making their first appearance at Road Atlanta with the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP : « It’s a challenge when it comes to car setup. Fast bends alternating between tight corners. Adding pronounced rumble strips in some areas, the long backstretch with a high top speed and a hard downhill braking zone, this track has it all. One of the nicest all season.
« Everything’s a compromise. Laptimes can be very similar while running two very different configurations. But only one compromise is the right one for the race. You have to make the right decisions. »
This « half-full » race, with a distance of 1000 miles will no doubt be a new challenge for Team ORECA-Matmut. And as Hugues de Chaunac likes to say : « We learn a lot at Petit Le Mans. There are always surprises… »
Practice starts Wednesday, September 28 at 2:45pm (local time). Qualifying will be Thursday at 3:30pm with the start given at 11:30am on Saturday, October 1.