French team Ultimate has outlined plans to make its FIA World Endurance Championship next season with a new Oreca 07 Gibson in the LMP2 Pro-Am class.
The Rennes-based outfit has confirmed that it has submitted an entry application for the 2022 campaign, following its LMP2 debut in the European Le Mans Series this year with a single Oreca.
Ultimate plans to retain its ELMS driver lineup of Matthieu Lahaye, Jean-Baptiste Lahaye and Francois Heriau for its expansion to the WEC, subject to its entry being approved by the championship’s selection committee.
Tech 1 Racing, which also operates the Panis Racing LMP2 Oreca, will continue providing technical support to the Ultimate effort.
A full-season WEC participation would ensure Ultimate’s place on the grid at the 24 Hours of Le Mans next June, for what would mark its debut in the French enduro.
The team’s best result in ELMS this year was fifth overall in the opening two rounds at Barcelona and the Red Bull Ring. The first of those two races heralded a Pro-Am victory, while the team ended up third in the standings for the new LMP2 sub-category.
Ultimate previously competed in the LMP3 class and finished third in the 2019 ELMS with a run that included a win at the Paul Ricard season-opener.
“After starting in 2013 and acquiring the basics of endurance racing through different seasons including four in LMP3 then one in LMP2, the Ultimate team – which until now played in ELMS – has decided to take a new course by aligning in WEC,” commented team co-founder Jean-Baptiste Lahaye.
“We are delighted to start this new program together. Our goal is to participate in the 24 Hours of Mans from next year.
“I want to thank all the people who have supported us and trusted us to start with all our partners, without whom this new adventure would not be possible.”
The Lahaye brothers and Heriau have all driven for Ultimate since the team’s early days racing in the V de V championship.
Heriau fulfils the requirement for a Bronze-rated driver in the WEC LMP2 Pro-Am class, while both Lahayes are Silver-rated according to the FIA’s classification system.