AIM Team ORECA Matmut: Getting ready for Le Mans! The ORECA 01 has but a single aim in its only race before the Le Mans 24 Hours carry out a full dress rehearsal before the two rounds of the clock in the Sarthe. The ORECA 01 is attacking the...
AIM Team ORECA Matmut: Getting ready for Le Mans!
The ORECA 01 has but a single aim in its only race before the Le Mans 24 Hours carry out a full dress rehearsal before the two rounds of the clock in the Sarthe.
The ORECA 01 is attacking the 2010 Le Mans Series with a new driver line-up, Soheil Ayari, Didier Andre and Loiac Duval, and a new tyre supplier, Dunlop. The Le Castellet 8 Hours will provide the team with an ideal opportunity to carry out a complete test in race conditions in view of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
David Floury, the technical director lays out the aim for the first event of the season: "We want to prepare for the Le Mans 24 Hours in the most thorough fashion possible. This means a putting on a good performance in qualifying, and above all, having a good race. Being there at the finish is our no.1 priority."
The ORECA 01, winner of the 2009 Silverstone 1000kms and first petrol-engined prototype in the Petit Le Mans in the USA, set the fastest time in the official test session a month ago on the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit. But for the car's return to the track in the Var, the essentials are not quite the same for Floury: "The team's two cars filled the first two places and obviously we'd like to finish the Le Castellet 8 Hours in these positions," he smiles. "This being said, what we learned in the test may not be of much use. The conditions will be different and our rivals will have had time to fine-tune their cars. Where we're concerned, there are a few unknown factors. We're going into this preparatory race with a fair amount of caution to familiarize ourselves with all the innovations. We've had sessions with Dunlop and we were very satisfied. But it's our first race with this tyre manufacturer, and it'll help us evaluate the potential and the life of the tyres." The ORECA 01 will also have a few new mechanical innovations. "Small tweaks, nothing you can see," says David. "We'll keep the most spectacular ones for private testing!"
At the Le Castellet 8 Hours, the AIM Team ORECA Matmut ORECA 01 will be entrusted to Soheil Ayari, who scored a good fifth place for the team in last year's Le Mans 24 Hours. He will be backed up by another couple of Frenchmen, Didier Andre, and Loic Duval, recent winner of the Super GT race at Okayama. He will be back in the ORECA 01 he drove in last year's Asian Le Mans Series, and he will then move over to the Peugeot 908 HDI FAP driver line-up for the Spa- Francorchamps 1000 kms.
"We've got an unusual driver line-up but they all have endurance experience. Soheil and Loic know the ORECA 01 well, while Didier has already driven for us at Le Mans. They're a well- balanced trio, which should help us to be among the front-runners," sums up Floury.
The first practice session for the Le Castellet 8 Hours will take place on Friday 7th April followed by qualifying the next day.