Circuit de la Sarthe
A third "Top 5" for Team ORECA-Matmut…
Nicolas Lapierre, Loïc Duval and Olivier Panis finish in fifth position in the #10 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.
Coming home behind the #2 Audi R18 and the three factory Peugeot 908s, Team ORECA-Matmut finish first of the 'privateers'.
At the conclusion of the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours, Team ORECA-Matmut realised a third top 5 in three years. 5th and 4th in the last two editions with the ORECA 01, Hugues de Chaunac‟s team finishes again in 5th at the end of a particularly interesting 79th edition of the race. At the controls of the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, Nicolas Lapierre, Loïc Duval and Olivier Panis gave it their all during the twice around the clock race to follow the pace set by the 2011 LMP1s. Although the march to the front for the “Lion,” of which reliability was never an issue, was hindered by two incidents, the three men finish behind an Audi R18 and three Peugeot 908s – these four cars doing battle until the very end. Preceded by four cars under new rules – entered directly by two major manufacturers – Team ORECA-Matmut therefore finishes for the third consecutive year first as a “privateer” at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Pursuing a flawless performance, Team ORECA-Matmut got a good start, positioning themselves behind the Audis and Peugeots. A times running in fourth place during the first quarter of the event and often in fifth, the team once again showed that they are up to the challenge of the race in technical and strategic management and during interventions. The drivers also showed themselves more than convincing. After these intense 24 Hours, the members of the Team ORECA-Matmut shouldn‟t be ashamed of their performance.
At the drop of the tricolor flag by Jean Todt on Saturday at 3 pm, Nicolas Lapierre starts from the seventh place. 8th after the first corner, he regains the position the second time around. After the first neutralization period (#3 Audi accident), the Team ORECA-Matmut Peugeot 908 HDi FAP stays at the heels of the three Peugeot 908s and two Audi R18s. The “Lion” temporarily reaches the top 5 during Nicolas‟ quadruple stint. Loïc Duval and Olivier Panis take over for me and the driving squad consolidates its sixth place during the first third of the event. 24 Hours of Le Mans