Asia: Team-ORECA-Matmut-AIM series preview

Gunning for victory! The Team-ORECA-Matmut-AIM will be gunning for victory in the Asian Le Mans Series. After Europe and the United States, the ORECA 01 will be racing on a third continent in the 2009 season. The team is heading off to Japan...

Gunning for victory!

The Team-ORECA-Matmut-AIM will be gunning for victory in the Asian Le Mans Series.

After Europe and the United States, the ORECA 01 will be racing on a third continent in the 2009 season. The team is heading off to Japan for the first Asian Le Mans Series events on the Okayama circuit. The Team ORECA-Matmut- AIM has two aims continue preparation for the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours and reach the topmost step of the podium.

The team has made two big steps forward in its preparation for the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours with victory at Silverstone, and a place in the top 5 in the Petit Le Mans in front of the works Honda-Acuras. The two races on the Okayama circuit are a logical follow-on in the team's preparation as Hugues de Chaunac confirms: "Since June, the whole team has progressed at every level. This was confirmed at the Petit Le Mans and we have to keep up the momentum. Our aim in Japan hasn't changed gather experience!"

The Asian Le Mans Series consist of two 500-km races, a new format which the ORECA Group President likes. "It provides us with the opportunity to work on different parameters. In these shorter events strategy will assume even greater importance. As at Road Atlanta we'll be able to judge our capacity to adapt to a new playing field. The ORECA 01 has never raced on this track before, and the weather conditions may be tricky. We've seen that exploring unknown territory is always productive, and that'll be the case at Okayama."

The Team ORECA-Matmut-AIM is tackling the final event of the year in a confident frame of mind with its two drivers, Nicolas Lapierre and Formula Nippon Champion, Loic Duval. "We want to fight for victory. We'll be doubly motivated due to our partnership with AIM," underlines de Chaunac. "It's very important for ORECA and AIM to race together in Japan. There'll be numerous guests and supporters and in addition, we want to encourage the development of the Le Mans Series in Asia."

Practice for the first Asian Le Mans Series event will start on Friday 31st October with qualifying as part of the programme. The first race is on Saturday and the second on Sunday.

Loic Duval (no.10 ORECA 01) "A tricky, twisty circuit"

Loic how do you feel about rejoining the Team ORECA-Matmut-AIM?

"First of all, I'm delighted to be back at the wheel of a prototype! I'm also very pleased to collaborate with the team again. I have to say that I missed not racing at Le Mans this year, so I'm happy to come back for the Asian Le Mans Series. It's a bit like a home event for me as I've been racing in Japan since 2006. I hope it'll go off in the best possible fashion."

Does racing on home turf as you say give you additional motivation?

"I'm starting to become known in Japan, so it's obvious that I'm determined to do a good job at Okayama. Of course, I'll need a little time to get used to a Le Mans prototype again. I think we're all going there with the same intention to fight for victory!"

The team's going to discover a track that you already know. What can you say about it?

"It's a fairly short circuit, 3.7 kms, with several corners so it's pretty twisty. There aren't any really quick bends. It's a fairly tricky layout and that's where the driving challenge comes in. It's where you can make the difference."

You'll team up with Nicolas Lapierre who you already know...

"That's right. We've already been together on several occasions: in the Signature era in F3, after that as A1GP team-mates and then at the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hours. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to race but he helped us with his knowledge of the car. I've got a lot of respect for him. He's pleasant and easy to work with and he's got the right approach."

-credit: oreca.fr

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Nicolas Lapierre , Loic Duval , Hugues de Chaunac