Team ORECA-Matmut Spa preview

Spa-Francorchamps circuit

Team ORECA-Matmut : Spa in preparation for Le Mans…

As the second round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the 1000km of Spa will be a dress rehearsal for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Alongside his teammates Loïc Duval and Olivier Panis, Nicolas Lapierre is looking for a good result in the Belgian Ardennes with the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.

#10 Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP: Nicolas Lapierre, Loic Duval, Olivier Panis
#10 Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP: Nicolas Lapierre, Loic Duval, Olivier Panis

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

After a productive Test Day, the Team ORECA-Matmut will compete in its second race of the year: the 1000km of Spa-Francorchamps. As winners of the 12 Hours of Sebring with the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, the team arrives in the Belgian Ardennes at the top of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup championship standings. But the first objective will be to prepare well for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Racing against the new Audi R18s and alongside the official Peugeot 908s, the Team ORECA-Matmut is getting ready to race in its first European event of the season. It will be a particularly important weekend for drivers Nicolas Lapierre, Loïc Duval and Olivier Panis as the race is only a month before the twice around the clock classic in la Sarthe. “We are going into Spa differently than we did Sebring – which was a goal in itself,” admits David Floury. “On one hand, it’s a six hour race, in the European style: the sporting regulations are similar to those of Le Mans. On the other hand, the clear goal is to prepare for Le Mans and consequently to conserve the car and not put ourselves in the red.”

Like the two major constructors, the 1000km of Spa will therefore be a dress rehearsal for June. The Technical Director explains the reasons. “Firstly, it’s a perfect training session. It’s good for the team, notably during pit stops. It’s also good for the drivers, for example traffic management. In a general way, this will allow us to dial in the car as well as certain parameters like fuel consumption. We will also continue our tyre work. In terms of setup, we benefited from the Test Day and we hope to resume these tests at Spa.”

Last “interesting” point according to David Floury: the weather. “The more the conditions will be changing, the more we will be ready for Le Mans. Due to Spa’s layout, it sometimes rains in one area, but not in another. We always learn a lot there. It can be a great ally…in order to get the best result with an excellent car, the Peugeot, and a trio of drivers that gel.”

Practice starts Thursday, May 5, at 12:20 p.m.

-source: oreca-matmut

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Series ELMS
Tags begium, duval, lapierre, oreca, panis