12 Hours of Sebring: First podium for the ORECA 03, Genoa Racing winners in LMPC!
LMP2. In its first time in competition, and first race in the USA, the ORECA 03 entered by Signatech-Nissan reached the second step of the podium at the 12 Hours of Sebring, first round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. Without a gearbox issue, victory was within reach for the trio Soheil Ayari, Franck Mailleux and Lucas Ordonez, who showed the potential of the ORECA 03 LMP2.
Race action. Dominant during practice and pole winners in LMP2, the No. 26 ORECA 03 took the start from prime position with Franck Mailleux at the controls. The French driver keeps the lead during his stint before handing the car to Lucas Ordonez, who continues to maintain the lead through the first third of the race. Unfortunately, at Soheil Ayari’s turn, the gearbox is blocked. The technical team works against the clock to make the fix. The ORECA 03 rejoins the track 18 laps down but the drivers put their heads down to make up the time lost allowing Franck Mailleux to regain the lead in the seventh hour. Team Signatech-Nissan is forced to stop again for a similar problem. Soheil Ayari leaves the pits and the ORECA 03 crosses the finish line in 2nd place, between the Level 5 and OAK Racing cars.
LMPC. The 12 Hours of Sebring was also the first American Le Mans Series race of 2011 for the eight Formula Le Mans cars entered in LMPC. Genoa Racing won with Jens Petersen, Dane Cameron and Michael Guasch behind the wheel, placing the No. 036 ORECA-FLM 09 in the top ten overall! The fight for victory promised to be hotly contested, and it was indeed the case. Core Autosport finished second with Dalziel/Montecalvo/Bennett, ahead of the second Genoa Racing prototype driven by Jeannette/Gonzalez/Junco. The ORECA-FLM 09 showed once again their speed and reliability with three cars placing in the top 20 overall.
Race Action. After staring from pole position, Dane Cameron (Genoa) lets Ryan Dalziel (Core Autosport) passed at Turn One. Then, the ORECA-FLM 09 of Iconic Energy Drinks – WRO takes the lead and even runs in second place overall after the first 40 mintues! After two hours of racing, the top six are within 30 seconds of each other but Ryan Lewis (PR1 Mathiasen) is forced to stop at track’s edge before a small fire ends all hopes of victory. Five hours in, and the class-leading Genoa Racing car is 7th overall! With three hours to go, the race was between Genoa Racing and Core Autosport, before Dane Cameron’s return to the track, pushing the gap to a comfortable level until the checkered flag.
Next rendezvous for the ORECA Racing Car Manufacturer in two weeks at the 6 Hours of the Castellet in the Le Mans Series..