Tag Archives: Endurance

More Than A Bleu Rebellion – Oreca Nissan 05 #1

French Racing Team Organisation Exploitation Compétition Automobiles better known as ORECA was founded by Hugues de Chaunac in 1973 and running Martini open wheelers the teams drivers Jacques Laffite and Rene Arnoux won the European Formula 2 Championship in 1975 and ’77 respectively, from ’79 to ’89 the teams drivers also won 8 French Formula 3 championships with Alain Prost ’79 and Jean Alesi ’87 being two graduates who progressed to find success in Formula One.

Oreca 05, Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley, Nick Tandy, 6 Hours Of Silverstone,

In the late 80’s ORECA turned it attention to developing, preparing and entering Touring, GT and Sports Cars which produced a win at Le Mans in 1991 when the team running the Mazda 787B’s under the works Mazdaspeed banner.

Oreca 05, Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley, Nick Tandy, 6 Hours Of Silverstone,

After developing, building and running the Dodge Vipers and Saleen SR-7’s in the GT classes and in 2007 ORECA took over Courage Competiton a manufacturer building LMP1 and LMP2 cars, the first Oreca branded FLM 09 sports cars appeared in the Formula Le Mans Cup and later LMPC classes in 2009, with a Courage based LMP1 car appearing a few weeks later.

Oreca 05, Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley, Nicolas Lapierre, Le Mans

By 2010 the team was running a works supported Peugeot 908 HDi LMP1 car as well as building the Oreca 03 for the LMP2 series, more recently ORECA have run the Toyota Hybrid LMP1 cars since 2012 and built the Rebellion R-One LMP1 car in 2014.

Oreca 05, Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley, Nicolas Lapierre, Le Mans

The Oreca 05 is built to meet the 2017 LMP2 regulations and uses the same chassis design as that of the originally Toyota powered Rebellion R-One but the body features many detail differences in the dive plains, turning vains and louvres which have benefited from further development in CFD (Computer Fluid Dynamics) aided design of the body, the car also uses electric power steering.

Oreca 05, Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley, Nicolas Lapierre, Le Mans

To date three 4.5 litre / 274 cui Nissan V8 powered ORECA 05’s have been built chassis #2 is entered by Thiriet By Tds Racing in the European Le Mans Series and the same team ran chassis #3 at Le Mans in the LMP2 class. While today’s featured #1 chassis is entered by the Hong Kong based KCMG team in the LMP2 class of the World Endurance Championship for Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley and Nick Tandy when the latter is not called on to join the works Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 team.

Oreca 05, Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley, Nick Tandy, 6 Hours Of Silverstone,

Matthew, Richard and Nick seen in the first, second and sixth images finished 19th overall and 4th in class on the cars debut in the 6 Hours of Silverstone Race, Nicolas Lapierre took over Nick Tandy’s seat at Spa where the car finished 12th overall and 4th in class.

At Le Mans Matthew, Richard and Nicholas qualified 14th overall and 1st in class and led the LMP2 class for all but 9 laps of the race despite leaving the circuit twice in the closing hours of the race to finish 9th overall and first in LMP1 by just 48 seconds.

Thanks for joining me on this “More Than A Bleu Rebellion” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at some recent Group C highlights from Silverstone Classic. Don’t forget to come back now !


Silent Running – Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

Last Sunday I popped up to Silverstone for the 6 Hour race, the 4th round of the 8 race World Endurance Championship.

Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire

When I first visited Silverstone in 1978 the layout was still essentially an airfield perimeter track consisting of six straights joined by six fast corners with the main runway still in use on raceday’s. Since then the track configuration has changed several times, the runway is now long gone and there is a completely new infield section between the Club and Woodcote corners which was introduced last year.

Japanese Fans, Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

When I arrived at the track I was heartend to find that endurance racing appeals to a younger audience who travelled from far and wide, though just as in 1978 in disappointingly small numbers.

Toyota TS030 Hybrid, Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

Making it’s first appearance in the UK was the new for 2012 Toyota TS030 Hybrid which proved fast at the previous Le Mans 24 hours if ultimately unreliable, the car driven by Austrian Alexander Wurz, Frenchman Nicolas Lapierre and Japanese Kazuki Nakajima qualified 3rd behind the two Audi Sport Joest R18’s but after a dozen laps went into the lead, unfortunately it could not maintain it’s lead during the pit stops and so was always, entertainingly playing catch up to the Audi’s with their smaller, diesel filled, fuel tanks which proved ultimately more economical.

Lola- Nissan B12/80 Coupé, Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

Further Japanese interest in the race was provided by Keiko Ihara who was sharing her second tier LMP2 #29 Gulf Racing Middle East entered Lola Nissan B12/80 Coupé with Fenchman Fabien Giroix and Swiss Jean-Denis Delatraz, they qualified a distant 22nd and finished an equally distant 18th overall and 11th in class.

Zytek - Nissan Z11SN, Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

Also running in the LMP2 class was former Grand Prix Driver, 1990 Le Mans winner and Sky Sports Formula One presenter Martin Brundle who joined his son Alex and Spaniard Lucas Ordonez in the #42 Zytek Nissan Z11SN. The #42 qualified a respectable 8th overall 1st in class but could only finish 12th overall 5th in class.

Porsche 911 RSR (997), Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

As well as the two LMP1 and LMP2 prototype classes additional classes catered for GT2 cars which are split into LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am divisions. Amateurs Christian Ried from Germany with Italians Gianluca Roda and Parato Ruberti from Italy qualified the #88 Porsche 911 RSR (997) 27th overall and 2nd in class and finished 25th overall 2nd in class, seeing the slower GT drivers getting swamped by the faster prototypes on the corners is always interesting but only rarely leads to the kind of damage seen above.

Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1, Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

The #50 Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1, seen above, shared by Brazilian Fernando Rees and Frenchmen Patrick Bornhauser and Julien Canal actually crossed the line 25th and 2nd in the LMGTE Am class but was disqualified after a “non-conforming safety device, namely the validity date of the car’s fire extinguisher” was discovered in post race scrutineering. Labre Competition Team manager Jack Leconte was suitably contrite after the discovery.

Oreca - Nissan 03, Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

From 35 starters there were only four retirements the second of which was the #23 Signatech Oreca Nissan O3 of French trio Jordan Tresson, Franck Mailleux and Olivier Lombard. Approaching 3/4 distance. Tesson is seen here after a rear tyre exploded at Becketts coming out of the next corner Chapel his car turned sharp left and hit the wall. The ensuing safety car period played into the hands of the overall victor of the race.

Ferrari 458 Italia, Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

The #61 AF Course Waltrip, as in Micheal Waltrip Racing apparently, Ferrari 458 Italia of Italians Piergiuseppe Perazzzin, Marco Cioci and Irishman Matt Griffin qualified 30th overall / 3rd in LMGTE Am and came home winners in the class beating the #98 Aston Martin Vantage V8 of German Roald Goethe and Briy Stuart Hall, seen above, that finished 4th in class by 3 whole laps. Griffin said of his win “I’m not British but it’s still my home race so I’m really happy.”

Ferrari 458 Italia, Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

LMGTE Pro honours fell to the #51 AF Course Ferrari 458 Italia of Grand Prix Winner Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni who beat another 458 Italia by two clear laps.

Oreca Nissan 03, Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

The #25 ADR-Delta team Oreca Nissan O3 of John Martin, Jan Charouz and Tor Garves edged the second Signatech team Oreca Nissan by just six seconds at the finish line but this was not the closest class victory of the day.

Lola Toyota B12/60 Coupé, Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

By securing the win in their Rebellion Racing Lola Toyota B12/60 Coupé 6th place starters and 4th place overall finishers Italian Andrea Belicchi and Swiss Harold Primat stretched the Rebellion Racing Teams lead in the Privateer LMP1 Championship. They finished 6 laps behind the third place #2 Audi and less than 1 second ahead of the 2nd place privateer LMP1 Honda powered HDP ARX 03a to take the closest class victory of the day.

Audi e-tron quattro Hybrid, Silverstone 6 Hours WEC

With the best fuel economy and aided in a small way by several short safety car periods the Audi e-tron quattro Hybrid with a flywheel accumulator system developed by Williams Hybrid Power, to drive the front wheels only at mandated speeds in excess of 75 mph, silently, and I mean really quietly, out ran the Toyota TS030 Hybrid by less than a minute thanks to one less stop for diesel than it’s petrol powered competitor. By crossing the line first Audi secured this years World Endurance Constructors Championship at the half way point because it’s Le Mans win is the one race in the series that counts for double points.

Thanks for joining me on this “Silent Running” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting Dunsfold Aerodrome. Don’t forget to come back now !