LOIC DUVAL, THE TEAM ORECA-Matmut's THIRD "LION Loic rejoins Olivier Panis and Nicolas Lapierre in the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP for the Le Mans 24 Hours. Loic will be on the grid for the first Le Mans Series race on the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit on...
LOIC DUVAL, THE TEAM ORECA-Matmut's THIRD "LION
Loic rejoins Olivier Panis and Nicolas Lapierre in the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP for the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Loic will be on the grid for the first Le Mans Series race on the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit on 10th 11th April.
Olivier Panis and Nicolas Lapierre, winners of last year's Silverstone 1000kms, have raced together in the Team ORECA-Matmut for two years. In 2010, they will drive the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP in the Le Mans Series. In the Le Mans 24 Hours they will be backed up by Loic Duval who will also join them for the Le Castellet 8-Hour race.
Loic knows the team like the back of his hand as he has already competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours with them. That was in 2008, and he won the Jean Rondeau Prize awarded to the best young driver. Since then the man from Chartres has made his mark in Japan in Super GT, and in Formula Nippon winning the 2009 championship. At the end of 2009, he drove for the Team ORECA-Matmut again in the Asian Le Mans Series scoring two podium finishes.
This choice was the result of a group decision as Hugues de Chaunac explains: "After drawing up a short list we put forward a name to our partners as well as Peugeot: it was Loic's. He's built up a great set of results and we know him well. The engineers appreciate him and he always does a very good job especially at Okayama, which was a test for him but he didn't know it! He fits into a team without problems and he's already worked with Olivier and Nicolas. That's what tipped the scales in his favour."
"When Hugues de Chaunac said to me that I'd be doing Le Mans, I was delighted but I though it would be in the ORECA 01," admits Duval. "Then when he told me I'd be driving the Peugeot, I felt over the moon! You can spend your whole career waiting for an opportunity like this. I know just how important this programme is for the whole team and it's a real sign of confidence in me. Even though there are a whole lot of special factors to cope with I can't wait to drive the beast. I'm also looking forward to meeting up with some of my rivals from the Super GT who'll be in the opposite camp!"
Loic will have his first taste of the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP with Olivier LPanis and Nicolas Lapierre in the e Mans Series official test session this weekend on the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit.