After the American Le Mans Series season start in March at Sebring, it's now the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series making their debut this weekend at Silverstone.
Seven ORECA 03 LM P2 and one Alpine, built and developed by ORECA, will be on track for the occasion. Entered by top teams, these cars will be aiming for victory in a category that will be the most contested ever!
With their ambitious driver lineups that include top references in endurance racing, former F1 drivers, talented youngsters and experienced gentlemen drivers, we're hoping to start the season right in FIA-WEC and ELMS. In the year that ORECA is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and at a track where we have written some of our best stories, we're looking forward to having more great times in 2013."
FIA-WEC : The title is the goal for G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR and Pecom Racing !
With ten entries on the list for the 6 Hours of Silverstone, the LM P2 class will be very well represented for the English round. The category will also be very open with four constructors.
G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR will be entering two ORECA 03 with Dunlop tyres, while Pecom Racing will have one entry running on Michelins.
G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR will rely on Roman Rusinov, John Martin and Mike Conway in the No. 26, while Tor Graves, Antonio Pizzonia and James Walker will share the No.25.
Under the ADR-Delta banner, the British team shone brightly in 2012: for their first season in endurance racing, they won on four occasions in FIA-WEC.
"As a team, we must continue to improve, but we have solid driver lineups in both cars and our goal will be the title," explains Simon Dowson, team manager. "Our project with G-Drive was confirmed relatively late so these last few weeks have been very busy.
ORECA was a big help in getting us prepared for the season on time and we're looking forward to racing again. Having two cars will allow us to share information and therefore speed up the development process."
Meanwhile, Pecom Racing will entrust their single car to the same trio of drivers who finished 2012, Luis Perez Companc, Pierre Kaffer and Nicolas Minassian. The three men, who won at the 6 Hours of Bahrain, are also aiming for the top place.
"We want to fight for the championship," admits Nicolas Minassian. "The objective is to win as many races as possible, while being both reliable and consistent. The LM P2 class looks like it will be incredibly competitive: everyone else has made an effort to improve their driver squads.
For us, our trio has not changed, and I think that’s an advantage. We’re looking at continuity with Pierre who is really fast, and Luis who made impressive progress last year.
Additionally, we have the most competitive car of 2012. The ORECA 03 is a top performer at all the tracks. It will be a major advantage on the balance of the season.”
ELMS: Four chances to defend the title…
Drivers champions (Beche/Thiriet), Team champions (Thiriet by TDS Racing) and constructors champions, the ORECA 03 will be defending the crowns in the top European Le Mans Series class.
Thiriet by TDS Racing will return with Pierre Thiriet now joined by Jonathan Hirschi. Bastien Brière, Thomas Dagoneau and John Hatshorne will fly the Boutsen Ginion Racing colours while Michel Frey and Patrick Niederhauser will join Race Performance.
And after a convincing first season in the discipline, Murphy Prototypes will rely on Brendon Hartley, Mark Patterson et Karun Chandhok to fly the team’s flag.
“We are very happy to be racing with the ORECA 03 again,” said Greg Murphy, team boss. “With our driver lineup, we are confident that we’ll be able to battle for wins.”
The three ORECA 03 entered in the World Endurance Championship will be powered by a Nissan V8 prepared by the ORECA engine department in Magny-Cours, as is the case with three of the four ORECA 03 and Alpine in the ELMS. Race Performance’s entry will run a Judd V8.
The first round of the ELMS will be Saturday at 3p.m., lasting three hours, while the 6 Hours of Silverstone will be held on Sunday at noon for the FIA-WEC.