Silverstone: Team ORECA preview

High hopes for the big final ! The Team ORECA-Matmut's aim is a "win for Peugeot" to finish its season on a high note with Nicolas Lapierre and Stephane Sarrazin. The French team, which is leading the teams' and drivers' classifications, is ...

High hopes for the big final !

The Team ORECA-Matmut's aim is a "win for Peugeot" to finish its season on a high note with Nicolas Lapierre and Stephane Sarrazin. The French team, which is leading the teams' and drivers' classifications, is determined to win the two titles and help Peugeot score points in the ILMC.

The Silverstone 1000 kms will be the Team ORECA-Matmut's last race of the 2010 season. It is the final round of the Le Mans Series and marks the start of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. It is also the first confrontation between Peugeot and Audi since the Le Mans 24 Hours. In Great Britain, the no.4 908 HDi FAP will be driven by Nicolas Lapierre and Peugeot Sport works driver, Stephane Sarrazin, as Olivier Panis is retained by his FFSA-GT programme. It will back up the second works 908 of Nicolas Minassian and Anthony Davidson.

The Team ORECA-Matmut will be back on familiar territory as the team has won the Silverstone 1000 kms on two occasions: 2005, and in 2009 with the ORECA 01: "It's a circuit that we like very much", smiles Hugues de Chaunac, whose men are tackling this final LMS round with high hopes. "It's the big final, and a real challenge with Aston Martin and Audi as our direct rivals. Our aim's clear, a win for Peugeot. If the car in question is the no.4908 HDi FAP, I'll be delighted. We want to score a second victory after Portimao, and this could help Peugeot big good points in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. We'll be working in close collaboration with the Peugeot-Total team, as we did at Spa and Le Mans."

The last round of the Le Mans Series will see the Team ORECA-Matmut taking on its old rival Audi again. De Chaunac is determined that his drivers will finish in front of the R15 Plus at the end of the 1000-kms race. "We're out for revenge. To achieve this we can count on a very quick pair of drivers, Nicolas and Stephane. This final round of the season is also very important for us. We want to show where we stand, confirm our Le Mans performance at every level: team, drivers, qualifying, in the race, in our strategy, pits stops etc."

The Team ORECA-Matmut leads the drivers' (with Sarrazin) and team's classifications in the 2010 Le Mans Series, and it is determined to win the two titles. "Our aim is to win these championships," underlines de Chaunac. "If we fulfill our first objective, victory, we'll achieve our aims as a result. But we're not going to adopt a softly-softly approach just to pick up a few points."

Free practice begins on Friday 10th September. Till then, rendez-vous on ORECA-Racing.com, Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with the team's life.

Nicolas Lapierre : "The final showdown"

Nicolas, how are you going to tackle this final?

"I can't wait to be at Silverstone. On the one hand, we won there last year so we're determined to defend our victory. On the other, the battle with Audi and Aston Martin looks like it's going to be an exciting one. It's a major rendez- vous and it'll be important for us to drive a good race. The opposition is tougher so the pace is going to be higher; it's going to be a quick race and we'll have to take more risks. The whole team wants to show that it's as good as it was at Le Mans."

There's no question of racing in view of the championship...

"No. We're gunning for victory. If we manage to win or get close to winning, we'll have the points we want. We're going out there aiming for first place. With Audi racing and the title at stake there'll obviously be more pressure. But the idea isn't to play a waiting game or to be happy with just any old result."

Is the last 2010 race a special one?

"Yes, of course. The last race is always important. It conditions the winter break. It's the last note on the music sheet. Audi and Aston Martin have both entered works cars so that changes the odds. It's almost like a second round after the Le Mans 24 Hours. We want to take our revenge and help Peugeot to make a great start to the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup."

And what about the circuit?

"Like many drivers, it's one of my favourites. There's a new section that not everybody likes. We'll be racing on it for the first time. There are also more cars than in the last two rounds, but as the track is wider that shouldn't pose any problems. I'll be interested to drive on this layout with the 908 HDi FAP. And as I've already said, I'll be out to defend our 2009 pole and victory."

-source: team oreca

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Series ELMS