Muscle Milk Goes With Oreca-Nissan for 2014

Image: Pickett Racing

Image: Pickett Racing

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will make the switch from a HPD to an ORECA prototype in 2014, having announced Thursday that it will campaign a Nissan-powered Oreca 03 in next year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

The two-time American Le Mans Series P1 champions, along with Dyson Racing, were faced with having to find new prototype machinery for 2014 due to the elimination of the top-level prototype class in the merged series.

“This is an exciting time for us at Muscle Milk Pickett Racing as we welcome ORECA as our new partner,” team owner Greg Pickett said. “After winning the last two P1 Championships in the American Le Mans Series, it was important for us to choose a partner for our new adventure into the TUDOR Championship, that can help us continue, and build on, the success we’ve known so far.

“Our success the last couple of years was only made possible by our commitment to work closely and collaboratively with our friends and partners at HPD, Wirth [Research] and Michelin. Although we will miss working with them, our commitment to ORECA will be exactly the same.”

Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr, who combined for 18 wins in 28 ALMS starts together, will share the wheel again next year.

It will mark the first Oreca 03 to compete in the U.S. full-time, having been a dominant force in the European Le Mans Series and FIA World Endurance Championship over the last two seasons.

“I very much look forward to getting into the ORECA/Nissan prototype car,” Graf said. “This combination has been the dominant package. We looked very hard into what would be the best way to move forward for us and the ORECA 03 LM P2 with a Nissan engine was the one to have in the past and I’m pretty confident that it will be the same in the future. It has won many races and hopefully we can win many more.

Luhr added: “I had a chance to drive a Nissan powered P2 at Le Mans and I had a lot of fun. Hopefully, we can continue with this new package the success we had with Muscle Milk Pickett Racing last year. The ORECA has shown it can win races and our goal is to give them more wins.”

Pickett, who confirmed to Sportscar365 plans for an expansion in October, also submitted a Prototype Challenge entry for next year, although it currently sits as the first reserve in the class.

Its plans for a GT program is understood to have evolved over the last two months and is unclear if they’ll also be on the grid in the production-based ranks next year.

16 Comments

  1. Ian

    December 19, 2013 at 9:32 am

    This is great news. I think they are a great team and I was hoping they would not go with a DP

    • Kurt

      December 19, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Spot on, Ian. Just could not see them in a DP or a Delta Wing. My pick (along with Oak Racing) as the team to beat.

      • Jackson

        December 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

        What about ESM

  2. Foster

    December 19, 2013 at 9:53 am

    So, I guess we can “really” start the speculation that MMPR is Nissan’s partner for TUSC. First this , than factory GT-R, than the world …

    • jack

      December 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      marshall pruett said it is not MMPR, he wont say but i have a suspicion that it might be doran racing, as he worked with nissan in conti

  3. Michael Zachmeyer

    December 19, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Great news! So what is the status on Muscle Milks GT program? Are they still planning on running a car in GTLM or GTD. The New Nissan GTR GT3 would be a good choice since they are running a Nissan powered P2.

    • Jack

      December 20, 2013 at 1:05 am

      it fell out apparently

  4. Jackson

    December 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    What about ESM

  5. Ralph

    December 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    ESM was behind Level 5 all last year. The HPD also doesn’t seem to be the chassis to have in P2.

    • Tim

      December 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      Sharp just barely lost to tucker and that’s because tucker manipulated the results by switching his cars around during the race

      • Tim

        December 19, 2013 at 7:13 pm

        Fact is the #1 ESM should be competitive with MMPR and OAK

        • jack

          December 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm

          i doubt they will have the pace in qualy but they should be competitive in the race

  6. Jack

    December 20, 2013 at 1:04 am

    does muscle milk have the option to take the p2 car to le mans or is it just a p1 invitation

    • oppositelock

      December 20, 2013 at 3:05 am

      The invitation is for the team, not necessarily the car.

      • Tim

        December 20, 2013 at 3:14 am

        It’s by class. Af corse and craft racing from the Asian lemans series won invites for GT AM only

  7. jack

    December 21, 2013 at 12:05 am

    muscle milk was given a p2 entry not a p1 entry, i guess imsa thinks ahead

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