Muscle Milk Pickett Racing have confirmed that they will not be racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, after reports last month suggested they were.
The team, led by Le Mans racer Greg Pickett, have instead decided to focus their efforts on the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season in which they are competing in a new class with a new car in the ORECA o3 Nissan. The hope being that after finishing as the strongest LMP2 car in the Prototype class at Daytona, the team can take victories in the rounds to come.
Team boss Pickett said in a statement released by the team: “We were really looking forward to returning to Le Mans, and I was excited about getting back behind the wheel, but we need to do what is right for the team at this present time.
“Initially, even being able to get Michelin tires for Le Mans was a real problem. Michelin, our partner the last few years, said ‘no chance’. However, through the great efforts of Hugues de Chaunac of ORECA and the ACO, we had made some progress at the very end of the deadline period. Nothing for sure, but perhaps… We sincerely appreciated everyone’s efforts on our behalf.
“We’ve gone to Le Mans in the past and we know how much work it takes to get to and be well prepared for that race. We also know how much work it takes to fight for a championship, especially with a new car, which is why we’ve decided to solely focus on the TUDOR Championship this season.
“We’ve seen what we’re up against following the 24 hours of Daytona, and that is a very steep hill to climb. While we know that we can battle with the best, we want to ensure that we’re not leaving anything on the table in this Championship fight.
“We still have the desire to go to Le Mans, more than anything, and we hope to have the chance to in the near future, but this year, just isn’t the right time for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing.”
Instead, the Indianapolis based team will be focussing on the second round of the TUDOR Championship – the 12 Hours of Sebring which takes place in late March.