After three years in a Piet Mondrian-inspired livery, the ORECA-Matmut Team will have a new identity for 2011. The new look is motivated both by the team’s second year with Peugeot and its increased presence as a constructor with the launch of the ORECA 03 LM P2. The 908 HDi FAP, the team’s international flagship, with drivers Nicolas Lapierre and Loïc Duval, will wear blue and orange, the two official colours of the ORECA Group.
“With the Mondrian concept, our intentions were to create a different and audacious identity for ourselves in order to make the team stand out. The goal was to make people react, and we accomplished that. We wanted to stay along the same expressive lines as before with bold and catchy colours,” explains Jean-Philippe Eddaïkra, ORECA Group Marketing and Communication Director. “We wanted a car that would be recognizable on track, with a livery that would allow our partners to stand out, while staying close to the ORECA genes in order to keep building the ORECA brand."
The ORECA-Matmut Team’s Peugeot 908 HDi FAP will therefore be mostly blue. This very important colour to both ORECA and Matmut is complemented by touches of orange, the second colour of the Group. and white – all appearing in the “O” form of ORECA. Several other graphic elements are also visible. “At present, it’s something that will increase the team’s visibility,” continues Jean-Philippe Eddaïkra. “We are still a little mum on the subject, but rest assured there is a real strategy behind the logotype of the ORECA brand.”
The ORECA-Matmut Team will begin it’s Intercontinental Le Mans Cup campaign in Florida during the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 16-19.
The adventure continues for Olivier Panis…
The experienced and motivated Olivier Panis joins Nicolas Lapierre and Loïc Duval at Sebring, Spa, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Team ORECA-Matmut has finalised its driving squad for the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. For the first three rounds of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, Olivier Panis will join Nicolas Lapierre and Loïc Duval. The team from Signes decided to renew their partnership with the same three men who proved themselves during the last 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s a trio that mixes speed, enthusiasm and experience.
“For the third driver we knew we had several options, each with different profiles,” admits Hugues de Chaunac. “We studied each candidate seriously, but Olivier showed so much drive that we agreed to do a test session. It was held last week at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit and it went perfectly.”
The Team ORECA-Matmut knows Olivier Panis very well, having been with the team since 2008. Olivier boasts three full seasons highlighted by two Le Mans Series victories and a fifth place at the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours. Hugues de Chaunac chose the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix for good reason. “I must say that I was surprised by his motivation, which goes above and beyond what you would expect. It’s an important factor. He performed at the expected level, which is higher this year. Olivier is also a natural leader. Just from his charisma, he is more than just a driver. He was up to speed immediately and he has been an important element in the overall cohesion of the team for several years. He also knows the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.”
Along with the rest of the Team ORECA-Matmut, Olivier Panis headed to the track at the end of February for three days of testing at the Castellet. At the end of the tests, Olivier was very pleased: “I was happy to see the team again – there’s still that nice atmosphere. I hadn’t driven a prototype since Budapest last August and it was important for me to know where I stand, both in terms of driving and motivation. I’m satisfied with the times I put in and I really enjoyed myself. I’m not ready to retire (laughs)!”
The stage is now set for the 12 Hours of Sebring, the first race of the season for the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Loïc Duval and Olivier Panis who concludes: “I discovered the American tracks in 2009 and I’m excited to be returning to these awesome circuits and the famous ambience!”
-source: team oreca-matmut