ORECA - "First and second behind Planet Audi".
PlayStation Team ORECA brought their three cars home in a triumphant finish, the first privately-entered cars across the line after 24 hours of hard racing at the 70th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Two of its Judd-powered Dallara LMP900 cars finished fifth and sixth overall, fourth and fifth in class behind the Audi factory team, while the FFSA Chrysler Viper GTS R/T finished third in the GTS class.
Olivier Beretta, Pedro Lamy and Erik Comas headed the ORECA Dallaras over the line, ahead of Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin and Nicolas Minassian. The Viper was driven to third by Jean-Philippe Belloc, Jonathan Cochet and Benoit Treluyer.
Proud team owner Hugues de Chaunac said: "I think to have the two cars like that in the middle of the Audi's after 24 hours is just something fantastic. I think that we have claimed first and second place behind planet Audi, and now we have to think about what we are going to do next year."
Olivier Beretta was delighted with his fifth-placed finish. "The car worked well. We have improved the car's performance, that was a lot of work, and we are very happy with the result. It was not an easy race, everyone in the team worked so hard, and I am very happy to have beaten some of the other factory teams with the budget that we have."
Franck Montagny added: "It is OK, we finished fifth and sixth which is good. It is great to get two cars to the end. We have had some problems with the gearbox, we had a stop-and-go at the beginning, but in the end the car was really good. I cannot say that we are happy because we did not win, but we should be proud to have two cars running at the end of such a hard race. I think with a good gearbox we might have stood a chance. We have a normal sequential gearbox which is slower then the paddle shift, and little things like that would make a difference for next year.
Jean-Philippe Belloc, who was taking part in his fifth Le Mans 24-Hours and who had never finished on the podium, added: "We are very happy because we had a problem in the formation lap and we had to start last. We had a problem with the heat, and I had a big problem with my foot, it swelled up and I had to work very hard. When I did a double-stint, I could feel nothing with my foot anymore so I had to use my left foot on the throttle pedal".