Team ORECA Matmut, winners at the 12 Hours of Sebring last March with its privately run Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, will return to the American Le Mans Series for Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Oct. 1, which doubles as the penultimate round of the International Le Mans Cup.
The team will forgo participation in the ILMC rounds at Silverstone in England and Zhuhai, China as a result as part of planning its program for 2012, said team owner Hughes de Chaunac.
"This decision was not easy to make," de Chaunac said. "It's a special event for us. In 2009 (when the team finished fifth with its ORECA 01), Petit Le Mans was an important step in our progress. Today, because of its format – 1,000 miles, and how it leaves a lot of room for strategy – it's a race that fits our team and the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. What's more, everyone is aware of our attraction to the U.S. and the American style of racing."
Nicolas Lapierre will return to the cockpit of the ORECA Peugeot, but will be joined by two new teammates to be announced next month. His Sebring co-drivers Loic Duval and Olivier Panis have moved on, with Duval racing in Super GT Championship competition and Panis stepping out after the 24 Hours of Le Mans.