ORECA has confirmed discussions with Peugeot to become its technical partner for the French manufacturer’s recently announced Hypercar program, while also revealing the end date of its support of Toyota’s factory effort.
Company President Hugues de Chaunac confirmed to Sportscar365 that its contract with Toyota, for operational support of the TS050 Hybrid program, will come to an end following the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship season-ending 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
The support currently includes the allocation of six to seven mechanics, as well as lead engineer David Floury, who will be “100 percent” focused on ORECA’s new Hypercar program.
“That has been very clear on both sides,” De Chaunac told Sportscar365. “With Toyota it’s clear and in the discussions with Peugeot it’s clear.
“It’s no surprise. David will be the leader of our new project, which is good strength. For that, we’re really not under pressure because we are discussing with Peugeot.”
De Chaunac said that a deal has yet to be reached with Peugeot, despite Rebellion Racing, which ORECA currently largely operates, having been announced as Peugeot’s technical partner for its factory entry in 2022-23.
“It’s exactly the truth. We’re the technical partner of Rebellion,” De Chaunac said. “What I can say is that we’re in discussion with Peugeot for two or three months.
“We have to know more around the end of January or beginning of February.
“It’s normal because we need to define exactly all of the situation. It happened very quickly between Rebellion and Peugeot. But on the other side we need time to decide how we can do it, etc.
“I’m really relaxed. There’s no pressure.
“I think we have long and good expertise. The technical expertise of Rebellion is on our hands.”
In addition to Peugeot, De Chaunac said the company has been in discussions with other manufacturers for Hypercar, although it appears ORECA would focus on a single program.
A Toyota spokesperson confirmed to Sportscar365 that the end date of ORECA’s contract with the Japanese manufacturer had been agreed upon in “years” in advance and has not come as a surprise.
Toyota has continued to remain quiet on the development of its GR Super Sport-based Hypercar, which is expected to begin on-track testing in July ahead of its debut in the 2020-21 season.