Graff Racing will graduate to the LMP2 category next year, either in the FIA World Endurance Championship or European Le Mans Series, having confirmed Monday the purchase of an all-new Oreca 07.
The French squad, led by Pascal Rauturier, which currently runs a two-car Ligier JS P3 LMP3 effort in the ELMS, will add a LMP2 car to its arsenal, for a minimum four-year program in the new-look prototype class.
“After a good start in LMP3, which has been shared by our drivers and partners, the logical step was to have a LMP2 team in 2017,” Rauturier said. “LMP2 has always been a dream for us.
“The championship is very professional and the competition is intense. The circuits are varied and interesting.
“For now, the championship is not yet determined, but we know that we have already have international drivers, especially on the American continent, interested in participating in the WEC.”
Americans Sean Rayhall and John Falb, plus 2012 WEC LMP2 champion Enzo Potolicchio are part of Graff’s LMP3 effort this season, as co-drivers of the No. 10 Ligier, alongside the all-French lineup of Eric Trouillet, Paul Petit and Enzo Guibbert in the No. 9 car.
Rauturier said its LMP3 program with Ligier will continue next year, as well as an effort in the French-based VdeV Endurance Series, with a decision between the WEC and ELMS set to be made within the next three months.
Graff is the latest team to commit to Oreca’s 2017-spec LMP2 car, joining American squad DragonSpeed, which has outlined plans for a two-car effort in the ELMS next year. Both teams are hopeful of also gaining invites to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“This is a French project with an international dimension that’s exciting and ambitious,” ORECA President Hugues de Chaunac said.
“Graff is a name known and recognized motorsport with a great story, and we are proud to participate in this new chapter, as they aim to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
The team expects to take delivery of its new Gibson-engined Oreca 07 early next year.