Groupe ORECA press release
Twelve ORECA chassis to take on the 12 Hours of Sebring !
12 months after the win of the Team ORECA-Matmut, 12 ORECA chassis will be at the start of the 12 Hours of Sebring. With this teams entered in the LMP2 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship and nine prototypes in LMPC, ORECA will begin an ambitious 2012 season. Twelve months after its competition debut, the ORECA 03 returns to Sebring to kick off the FIA World Endurance Championship. ADR-Delta, Pecom Racing and Signatech-Nissan team will each enter the prototype designed and built in Signes, looking for a good result in LMP2. Meanwhile, close to 10 Formula Le Mans will be present in the LMPC class.
With pole position, fastest race lap and a second place finish, the ORECA 03 made the best of its debut in the 2011 Sebring 12 Hours. In fact, Team ORECA-Matmut won last year’s race outright. « It is with much pleasure that ORECA is back at Sebring. » confides Hugues de Chaunac, President of Groupe ORECA. « After tasting victory as a race team, we want to have the same success this year in LMP2 as constructors. The approach and philosophy are different, but the desire is the same. Our motivation is further heightened by the fact Sebring is celebrating its 60th anniversary. We dearly want to shine on this track that we appreciate so much and to once again feel those emotions. »
For the car’s first appearance in 2012 trim, three teams will be running the ORECA 03 with a Nissan motor : ADR-Delta, with John Martin, Robbie Kerr and Tor Graves at the controls of the No. 25, Pecom Racing, with Luis Perez Companc, Pierre Kaffer and Soheil Ayari in the seat of the No. 49, and team Signatech-Nissan, with Jordan Tresson, Franck Mailleux and Olivier Lombard onbord the No. 23. The Bourges-based team are last year’s winners at the 6 Hours of Zhuhai as well as the defending Intercontinental Le Mans Cup champions.
« Each team has what it takes to obtain a good result, » adds Hugues de Chaunac. « Their experiences and paths are different, but they each have strength to be valued. We will help them as much as possible in bringing our experience of the field. Our objectives are at a high level, but we know you must approach Sebring with humility. These 12 Hours will be very telling for the new ORECA 03 and we know the competition has sharpened their weapons so to speak. The class will be hotly contested and will entertain the numerous fans present.» A full LMPC class! In addition to the three ORECA 03, another ORECA chassis will be on the grid at the 12 Hours of Sebring, first round of the American Le Mans Series : nearly 10 Formula Le Mans comprise the LMPC class !
Defending champions, CORE autosport, will be present with two prototypes, driven by Bennett/Braun/Lux and Papow/Viso/Frisselle. PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports, two-time winners in 2011 (including Petit Le Mans), will be another serious contender for the top podium step with Leitzinger/Dobson/Junco, while Performance Tech are always in the fight with Nicolosi/Vera/Matos.
Several teams will be taking their first steps in LMPC, proof of the category’s attractive nature which continues to seduce new competitors. Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, entered in LMP1, will enter an ORECA-FLM 09 for Guasch/Gidley/Wills, as will RSR Racing, coming from the GT class, with Junqueira/Drissi, and Silicon Tech/Dempsey Racing. With Henri Richard (Petit Le Mans winner), Dane Cameron (Sebring winner) and Duncan Ende, Patrick Dempsey’s squad will have a card to play. Merchant Services Racing will be debuting with two cars, driven by Marcelli/Downs/Stirling and Ducote/Acheverria/Sanchez.
« Year after year, the LMPC gains in quality and quantity, » explains Hugues de Chaunac. « With the ACO’s support, and that of the American Le Mans Series and IMSA, the class is experiencing quite a success. The teams come from various walks of life and put on a great show. Last year, the championship came down to the last race, and I wouldn’t doubt for a second that 2012 will be very close. It will be anyone’s race and that’s what’s great about LMPC. Everyone can win !»
With three ORECA 03 in LMP2 and nine Formula Le Mans in LMPC, no less than 12 ORECA chassis will be taking the green flag at the 12 Hours of Sebring.