12 Hours of Sebring; Two ORECA 03 in the World Endurance Championship top 5
Pecom Racing, 4th in the LMP2 class, finishes 3rd among FIA World Endurance Championship competitors, while ADR-Delta also finishes in the top 5. CORE autosport takes the LMPC win after a hotly contested end of race.
For the first rendezvous of the FIA World Endurance Championship, no less than 12 ORECA chassis were present on the starting grid for the 12 Hours of Sebring, in Florida. Three ORECA 03 were entered in the LMP2 class, by team Signatech-Nissan (Franck Mailleux, Jordan Tresson, Olivier Lombard), ADR-Delta (John Martin, Robbie Kerr, Tor Graves) and Pecom Racing (Soheil Ayari, Pierre Kaffer, Luis Perez Companc), as well as nine ORECA-FLM09 in LMPC.
LMP2 : Good showing from the ORECA 03 …
Despite difficult traffic conditions – with 63 cars on track – the three ORECA 03, starting from the 4th, 5th, and 8th positions take the first corner without difficulties. As Signatech-Nissan and ADR-Delta maintain their spots in the top 5, Pecom Racing quickly gains several positions.
At the controls of the No. 49, Luis Perez-Compac, Pierre Kaffer and Soheil Ayari avoid problems and, after regularly pointing in the top 3 in LMP2, finish in the fourth spot. Pecom Racing, which had a perfect reliability in the race, nonetheless finished on the FIA World Endurance Championship podium and takes home precious points !
ADR-Delta also had a convincing showing, finishing fifth in FIA-WEC. After stopping to secure the rear cover, loosened after contact in traffic, the debuting British team was forced to return to the pits with radio problems. Although the first few hours were challenging, John Martin, Robbie Kerr and Tor Graves spent the next several hours making their way back up to a positive result, giving hope for the future. Less lucky, the team Signatech-Nissan ORECA 03 retired in the first quarter of the race while Jordan Tression, Franck Mailleux and Olivier Lombard were in second place. The Bourges-based team was forced out after contact with a Ferrari, provoked by an oil spill.
These three ORECA 03 will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship debut in May at the SpaFrancorchamps circuit. CORE autosport, the defending champs take the win!
The fiercely competitive LMPC class welcomed nine ORECA-FLM09 on the starting grid for the 12 Hours of Sebring, first round of the American Le Mans Series. At the end of a close race until the final hour, CORE autosport takes the spoils with Popow/Viso/Frisselle. PR1 Mathiasen (Leitzinger/Dobson/Junco) advances the sister car to the defending champs (Bennett/Braun/Lux).
Winners of the pole position on Friday, RSR Racing dominated the first few hours of racing before falling down the running order with clutch troubles. Four Formula Le Mans were in the hunt for the win, swapping the lead among them during yellow flag periods : the ORECA-FLM09 No. 06 of CORE autosport, No. 7 of Merchant Services Racing, No. 52 of PR1 Mathiasen Motorsport and No. 05 of CORE autosport. These four cars would spend much of the race in the same lap, with only the last two hours deciding the race.
Burt Frisselle 35 after his father…
As Merchant Services Racing ceded time, due to technical issues, the win came down to the last restart. Popow/Viso/Frisselle and Leitzinger/Dobson/Junco were widening the gap to Bennett/Braun/Lux. In the end it was Popow/Viso/Frisselle who crossed the finish line first after a flawlessly managed race ! CORE autosport therefore placed both cars on the podium, bookending PR1
Mathiasen Motorsport. « To come here for the 60th anniversary of the 12 Hours of Sebring, with my father here during the prerace ceremonies, and then to take victory, it’s very special, » explains Burt Frisselle, whose father, Brad, won the event in 1977. « I knew that it would be something to have him support me during these 12 Hours of Sebring. And the fact that it ended with such success, I feel like I lived a dream ! E.J. (Viso) was the key : without him, we wouldn’t have been in this position. His driving and his work our engineer is what made the difference. »