Oreca unveils LMP2 Oreca 03

New contender: ORECA unveils its LM P2! Oreca has expanded its activities by launching the ORECA 03. ORECA has been a constructor since the end of 2007, and it has already made a name for itself with the ORECA 01 racing in LM P1, and the...

New contender: ORECA unveils its LM P2!

Oreca has expanded its activities by launching the ORECA 03.

ORECA has been a constructor since the end of 2007, and it has already made a name for itself with the ORECA 01 racing in LM P1, and the Formula Le Mans prototypes. The Signes-based Group has used the experience gained with these two cars to build the ORECA 03. This new prototype will be on sale for teams wanting to race in 2011 in the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the different Le Mans Series in the LM P2 category.

ORECA unveils the ORECA 03 LM P2.
Photo by ORECA.

ORECA 03: Le Mans in its genes!

"ORECA wants to expand its activities as a constructor and we liked the 2011 LM P2 regulations," begins Hugues de Chaunac. "This is why we're unveiling the ORECA 03 today, which has got Le Mans in its genes! It will also take advantage of the know-how we've acquired with the ORECA 01, a prototype that's both quick and reliable, as we've proved on several occasions, in particular in the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours in which it finished fourth overall and in 2009 when it came home fifth."

As required by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest regulations, the 2011 LM P2s must respect certain cost limits. This will be the case for the ORECA 03, which will go on sale at a price of 345000 euros. The car will be adapted to whatever engine the team chooses. The ORECA design office has designed the car in such a way that it can be adapted to different types of engine. Besides this, the competition client service has always been at the core of the ORECA Group. The teams can take advantage of a spare parts/backup service at each meeting in the Le Mans Series and the American Le Mans Series.

"Our car will follow the ACO specification but our project is an ambitious one," points out de Chaunac. "In fact, it's more than just a car: what we're offering is a winning package. We're both a constructor and a team that also runs cars. We know what the demands are at the highest level thanks to our involvement in LM P1, as well as cost restrictions through Formula Le Mans. ORECA has already showed its know-how in these two areas."

The ORECA 03 will be rolled out early in January 2011. The cars will be delivered to buyers in the first three months of the year depending on the choice of engine.

What is the ORECA 03?

David Floury, the ORECA Group technical director, describes the ORECA 03 point by point, the result of several months' work carried out by the design office.

David, what was the first objective in the design of the ORECA 03?
"In fact, there were two: build the best LM P2 in the field, and respect the ACO cost limits by offering an affordable car that's economical to run. These two aims are a little contradictory, but we used our previous experience to combine them."

The ORECA 03 seems to have a few points in common with its big sister, the ORECA 01...
"Well, don't always trust what you see! The ORECA 01 is one of the best prototypes around in terms of sheer speed and reliability, and we've taken all that into account. We've also used the lessons learned with the Formula Le Mans, which is certainly the best there is in terms of quality/price. So we've got a solid working base; we're not starting from scratch. We're talking about a brand-new car in fact."

What are the differences with the ORECA 01?
"Apart from the aero design and the monocoque everything else is different. We've looked at the assemblies and the sub- assemblies to see where we could make gains in both performance and reliability while keeping costs in mind. The suspension and gearbox are different, as is the electronic/electrics system. The engine will be new. All this has consequences from a mechanical and aerodynamic point of view. The design office has come up with different solutions."

What about the aero design?
"The ORECA 03 bears a family resemblance to the ORECA 01. There would have been no sense in starting from a blank sheet of paper for an economical car, but it will undergo specific development. We also took advantage of the ORECA 02. The integration of the shark's fin obviously has an influence as do the smaller wheels. Above all, the working margin is reduced. The evolutions are limited and the ORECA 03 will have to be competitive on circuits varying from Le Mans to the Nurburgring, so we have to find the right compromise."


Monocoque Carbonfibre & Honeycomb
Length : 4.600 mm
Width : 1.990 mm
Eight : 1.025 mm
Front track : 1.670 mm
Rear track : 1.650 mm
Wheelbase : 2.870 mm
Weight : about 900 kg

Choice free
Power output: about 460 bhp
Torque: about 40 Kg.m
Max. about 7750 rpm
Lubrication: dry sump
Engine electronic control unit : by engine

Suspensions : Double steel wisbones with pushrod

Front : 12,5"x18"
Rear : 13"x18"

Supplier : Xtrac
Type : Six-speed sequential
Gear change : steering wheel-mounted paddles
Speeds : 6 + rear

Ventilated carbon discs
Front discs : Brembo 380 mm x 37 mm
Front caliper : Brembo
Front pads : Brembo
Rear discs : Brembo 355 mm x 37 mm
Front caliper : Brembo
Rear pads : Brembo

Safety equipment
Six-point harness adapted for hans system
Safety rubber fuel tank

Carbon Kevlar Light lamination

Price : 345000 HY
Race in : 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans Series, ALMS, Intercontinental Le Mans Cup...

-source: oreca

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About this article
Series ALMS , Le Mans , European Le Mans
Drivers Hugues de Chaunac