French constructor ORECA have unveiled the ORECA 03, a brand new car designed for privateers in the LMP2 classes of the different Le Mans Series as well as the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours and Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
Hugues de Chaunac's squad began building their own cars in 2007, designing the ORECA 01 – which the team has raced themselves for the last two years – and the FLM09 – the spec chassis used by the Formula Le Mans Series in Europe and the LMPC class in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
“ORECA wants to expand its activities as a constructor and we liked the 2011 LM P2 regulations,” begins 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.”
The 2011 Auto Club de l'Ouest (ACO) regulations for the LMP2 class make several requirements of new cars including cost limits (the ORECA 03 will be available to teams for just â‚¬345,000) while the designers of the car have increased its appeal by making it adaptable to receive the wide range of engines available to LMP2 teams under the new rules.
De Chaunac is confident that the car can be a winner next year, emphasising the advantage ORECA have over companies that are simply manufacturers; “It's more than just a car,” he explains. “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 LMP1, as well as cost restrictions through Formula Le Mans. ORECA has already showed its know-how in these two areas.”
ORECA say the first new cars will be rolled out in January next year, completed cars being delivered to buyers in the first quarter of the year, the exact time depending on their choice of engine.