PR1 Motorsports and Mathiasen Motorsports have become the latest team to confirm an entry into the American Le Mans Series' (ALMS) LMPC class, as the two combine into a single car effort for 2010.
The LMPC class is a new addition to the series for this year featuring the spec Oreca-Courage FLM09 chassis that debuted in Europe last year in the Formula Le Mans Championship. The chassis will ve powered by a V8 engine and the cars will all run on Michelin tyres.
“When we looked at our options, we decided to buy new rather than used,” Bobby Oergel of PR1 explains. “The cars that ran seven races in Europe are perfectly fine, we just wanted to build our program up 100% from the start. Everyone here is really looking forward to getting the car in the shop. It’s fast, great for racing, and can easily be incorporated into our driver development programs.”
“Being from California, our team sponsors are very interested in the West Coast events,” he adds. “We always enjoyed Long Beach and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, so it’ll be great to race there in the prototype.”
For Oergel's new partner Ray Mathiasen the move marks a return to racing.
“I decided to suspend our racing activities in 2009 after a very successful 2008 season,” he says. “In the 2008 Formula Atlantic Championship, with Jonathan Bomarito, we came so close to winning the championship. I've spent the last 10 months considering several possible directions for my team. I decided that the right course was to affiliate with another well established racing team that had a strong driver development program, and that the new LMPC car would be the ideal choice for our future racing activities.”
“We've enjoyed competing against Bobby Oergel and are now looking forward to competing with him in this new sports car racing venture. I am closing down our race shop in Brownsburg, Indiana and will be consolidating our equipment at PR1's shop in Fresno. Although my role in the racing operations will be more passive than it has been in prior years, I remain just as committed to winning a championship in this new series as we have been in our past activities.”
While the team's driving line-up is still being finalised and they will not take delivery of their car until next month, the third driver for the longer events of the ALMS season has already been announced, with Jonathon Bomarito making his first steps in prototype racing.
The decision sees the Californian, who already has one endurance racing win this year after taking the GT class in the Daytona 24 Hours, reunited with both Oergel and Mathiasen, having run form both PR1 and Mathiasen in the Atlantic championship from 2006 until 2009 when he only completed a partial season for Mathiasen.
Ray knows how to run a top-tier team, and Jonathan is a real professional in and out of the car. He always runs up front, and we know he’ll be a great addition to our endurance racing efforts.”
“Ray knows how to run a top-tier team, and Jonathan is a real professional in and out of the car,” enthuses Oergel. “He always runs up front, and we know he’ll be a great addition to our endurance racing efforts.”
The first event for the team, and Bomarito will be the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 17-20.