French racecar constructor ORECA has enjoyed considerable success with its current P2 chassis, the 03, since its debut in 2011. With four wins from five WEC rounds this season, including last weekend's event at Circuit of The Americas (LEFT), the 03 continues to thrive, but as ORECA boss Hugues de Chaunac told RACER on Sunday, a new chassis is on the way.
“That is what we are going to do for 2015, a coupe car,” he said. “So it would be the new LMP2 from ORECA and it would be a coupe car. Which is I think also important for North America because drivers prefer coupe rather than the open car. And so to have it ready for 2015, we will start working on the coupe car next year.”
ORECA's immediate new-car plans are focused on the design and construction of the Rebellion R-One P1 chassis, which is set to run in the WEC next season, and with their link to the Toyota Hybrid P1 program, ORECA technical director David Floury, who designed the 03, will continue to concentrate on the Japanese manufacturer's program.
In his place, Christophe Guibbal, director of the design office at ORECA, who also serves as the R-One project manager, will be tasked with penning the 03's replacement.
“David is focused on the Toyota,” de Chaunac added. “Christophe will do the new P2 car and will keep very busy going from one project to the next.”
Guibbal offered RACER an update on the status of his R-One design, which is due to turn its first laps in March.
“The design of the main components is complete, including the chassis, the gearbox, the transmission system, etc.,” he said. “This includes parts that require more energy and added value. We started the production phase of these parts. This is a decisive step because it's those elements that require the most significant time.
“The driving position and the ergonomics at the driver level are validated through the digital model and the 1:1 scale model. As for the aero global concept, it is set. We are now working in the detail. The choice of technical partners is also settled.”