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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 !