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Performance Tech Steps Up to Prototype with Oreca LMP2

Performance Tech Motorsports confirms step up to Prototype class with Oreca 07 Gibson…

Photo: Performance Tech

Performance Tech Motorsports confirmed on Wednesday its planned step up to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype class with a single LMP2-spec Oreca 07 Gibson.

The Brent O’Neill-led team, which won the final Prototype Challenge title this season, will remain with the French constructor for a sixth year as it moves into the top class of the WeatherTech Championship.

The team’s driver lineup is yet to be announced.

While having initially explored a Ligier JS P217 and having come close to finalizing a deal with Dallara to bring the first LMP2-spec car from the Italian constructor to the series, the team has ultimately opted for an Oreca chassis.

“We know everybody going into this,” said O’Neill. “Everyone is expecting to see Dallara or Ligier but we look forward to continuing the relationship we’ve built over the years it was the right choice for us.

“It’s a big step for everybody but it’s a less steep curve to continue with ORECA because we’ve been working with them all along. ORECA was a part of our success this year.

“They did great through this process. We’ve had fun getting people excited about the new car. This, the car announcement, played out well for both of us.

“Everyone was asking ORECA who the car was for and our team was excited. But we’re happy to announce with them and excited to get to work.”

Performance Tech joins JDC-Miller Motorsports and CORE autosport in running the Oreca LMP2 next year in the growing Prototype class.

“I think they chose the right car for two main reasons,” ORECA technical director David Floury said. “Firstly, the Oreca 07 is known for quality and has proven its speed and reliability.

“But besides this, it is a good base for teams that are entering the category for the first year to achieve great results. JDC in the USA or Graff in Europe have really demonstrated this in 2017.

“The second point is that Performance Tech and ORECA have developed a strong and successful relationship through years. This will enable to gain valuable time and speed up the process.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist focusing on European series for Sportscar365. Kilshaw was the founder of WorldSportsCar.co.uk and is a member of the Autosport Academy. Contact Jake

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Pete

    November 29, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Slightly bummed that there won’t be a Dallara in the series like it was looking, but man does that car look gorgeous in their livery.

    • Mike S.

      November 29, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Agree livery looks good. I like the added touch of having the P1 position in the LED panel lit up. Welcome to the jungle guys. Its going to be tough in there.

  2. David T.

    November 29, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    So glad to see IMSA teams adopting bolder liveries as seen in the WEC. These prototypes offer an amazing canvas to work with and good paint schemes are too often overlooked. I can’t wait to see this on track. Nicely done!

  3. Sir Skidsalot

    November 29, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Oh boy, how original, Red, Black and Silver…but it does look nice.

  4. Andy Flinn

    November 29, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Red and black is my favorite race car color combo. And silver is just a nice extra touch.

    Good job guys!

  5. tracer

    November 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Glad they went with Oreca. With no performance balancing amongst global spec LMP2 cars the Oreca provides the best opportunity for results over the balance of the season. Of course that could change with the evo developments to the Ligier and Dallara next season, but going with the proven package seems like the smart move.

    Kudos on the livery as well. Would like to see less black, red and silver on the grid but at least there aren’t a lot of cars running that general scheme in IMSA at the moment.

    • David Chaste

      November 29, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      Oreca is only the best choice in elms and wec. In imsa unless you also have too line engineers and top line veteran drivers even with an oreca you might not be as competitive. You can see how JDC’s performance was up and down at different tracks. And visit florida was faster tan them many times ince they got the Ligier.

      Im imsa you have to set gear ratios and are permitted to switch many other components. Just the gearing alone could trouble a gentleman driver as opposed to a Marc Goosens and Vender zender who are full pros for hire.

      Gear ratios could gain you seconds per lap against and unseasoned driver.

      • tracer

        November 29, 2017 at 9:03 pm

        I’m not sure I follow your response? I definitely agree with you that there are more competitive variables for LMP2 global spec runners in IMSA than in WEC competition, and that obtaining an Oreca is by no means a magic bullet for Performance Tech.

        However, I believe JDC’s surprise performance last year clearly showed that it can provide a consistently competitive platform for a former PC team with competent drivers. The Ligier certainly seems to have the same potential, but until it demonstrates it can match the Oreca’s aero efficiency, it remains a question in my mind whether the Ligier can go toe to toe with the Oreca at Daytona.

  6. JG

    November 29, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    That livery is like lipstick on a pig. Mazda’s RT24-P shows the Oreca for what it is: a fundamentally fugly car. I don’t blame the designers, rather the ACO for the mandated wheel arch cut-outs that have ruined the prototype class. Kudos to Mazda for ignoring the aero effects of the cutouts and building a proper looking car.

    • David Chaste

      November 30, 2017 at 1:57 am

      Just so you know, the Mazda does have the cutouts. they were mandated because the cars were going airborne. They wanted to cut costs by reducing ground effects but the higher acceleration and cornering speeds of modern car made them go airborne. So the cutouts are a way to release some of the pressure building up underneath the car. The air being sucked out the cutouts helps ground the car to the track. They’re fully functional. No aesthetics intended.

      Their used to be louvers for that same function.

      • JG

        November 30, 2017 at 5:31 pm

        I know Mazda has the cutouts, I’m just saying they chose to ignore the aero effects of the cutouts with their design, resulting in a car that looks like a proper prototype. The cutouts are responsible for the garish folded rear wheel arch and blunt front arches on the Oreca, as on every other car with the cutouts except for the Ginetta G57. It was a stupid fix for the supposed blow-over problem.

        • David Chaste

          December 1, 2017 at 12:34 am

          It was a cheap fix. Which makes the cars a bit cheaper. It’s that or expensive ground effects, diffusers, or venturi tunnels. Those will take high priced aerodynamicists to fashion properly and also some wind tunnel work to validate. All those costs would have to be passed on to the customer.

    • Davy

      November 30, 2017 at 2:27 am

      I think it’s the huge fin on the engine cover that makes these prototypes look so awful.

  7. mike cornwell

    December 2, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Truly , it is the fin that ruins the looks of all prototypes.

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