Development of the Oreca 05 has continued to progress, with the new LMP2 coupe scheduled to begin on-track testing in February, ahead of its race debut in April. (En Français)
“We are entering the production phase,” ORECA Technology technical director David Floury told Endurance-Info. “We have somewhat of a revised schedule in order to have more time for development.
“The goal is to make a good car that can be adapted to the 2017 regulations. We’re beginning to have an idea of the new regulations. Everyone is in the same situation.”
While being the first closed-top LMP2 design from the French manufacturer, Floury said the Oreca 05 will take lessons learned from both the Oreca 03 and 03R versions as well as the ORECA-built Rebellion R-One, which competes in LMP1-L.
“The Oreca 05 cannot deny its affiliation with other ORECA products, such as the 03 or the Rebellion R-One,” he said. “We’re taking the best of both. The experience of the two products is important.”
Floury said at least two teams will run the car in 2015, with ORECA having the capacity to build up to five cars in time for the start of the FIA WEC and European Le Mans Series seasons in April.
While the car will not be ready for the start of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, Floury said he’s hopeful to see the Oreca 05 stateside later in the year.
The car, which features electronic power steering and other enhancements compared to its previous generation LMP2 car, will initially be built to accept Nissan and Judd engines only.
“The study was done around the Nissan because it’s the most used engine for our customers,” Floury said. “Everything remains open for other engines, even if the HPD version is a little bit more complicated.”
As for the Oreca 03R, which is fresh off class victory in last weekend’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Bahrain with KCMG, Floury expects the open-top car to remain competitive in the hands of customers next year.
“The car remains competitive and it will continue to be in 2015,” he said. “Alpine won the ELMS championship, and KCMG and SMP Racing have both shown [great] things. We will continue to make progress on some minor points.
“The U.S. market is also taken into account. We’re working with IMSA to also be competitive on the other side of the Atlantic.”