Hugues de Chaunac has confirmed his Team ORECA Matmut squad will concentrate on Petit Le Mans (September 30-October 2) to end the 2011 season.
The 10 hour or 1,000 mile race at Road Atlanta will mark the French team's return to racing in the US following their surprise win at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March. The decision means the team will skip both the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the race in China that forms the final round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
“This decision was not easy to make,” explained de Chaunac. “It was taken for a number of reasons. Among others, we have strategic choices to make concerning the 2012 season. We prefer to focus our energy into preparing our future programs.”
“[Petit Le Mans]'s a special event for us,” he continued “In 2009, Petit Le Mans was an important step in our progress. Today, because of its format, 1000 miles, and how it leaves a lot of room for strategy, it's a race that fits our team and the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. What's more, everyone is aware of our attraction to the U.S. and the American style of racing.”
A new driving line-up will share the diesel coupe. Regular driver Nicolas Lapierre will be joined by two new teammates to be announced in the month before Petit Le Mans.