n preparation for their 2015 LMP2 campaign in FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) and ORECA Technology took the French manufacturer’s new closed cockpit prototype for an intensive three-day shakedown at Circuit Paul Ricard early this week.
Toyota LMP1 driver Stephane Sarrazin joined Richard Bradley and Matt Howson in Le Castellet to sample the new car. The drivers collectively completed 252 laps, yielding promising results in the process.
KCMG’s WEC crew, together with ORECA’s team of engineers and mechanics, laid the groundwork for the successful outing of the new LMP2. The team took advantage of the favourable circuit conditions, which allowed the team to assess tyres and identify effective set ups ahead of FIA WEC’s official pre-season test, The Prologue, which will be held at the same venue later this month.
KCMG driver Gary Thompson, who represented the Hong Kong-based outfit in All-Japan Formula 3 from 2010 – 2012 and Asian Le Mans Series in 2013, also joined Bradley and Howson during the private test at Paul Ricard.
The Irish driver sampled the Nissan-powered ORECA 03R contributing additional data, which will be valuable to the team’s forthcoming LMP2 program this year.
Richard Bradley: “We had a very successful shakedown of the new ORECA 05, completing a lot of laps and getting good data over the course of two days. The car was very comfortable and showed good potential. ORECA have been very supportive in helping us with the car and I’m confident that the package will bring the team strong results this season.”
Matt Howson: “The shakedown of the new ORECA 05 went perfectly with over 1000km of running and no real problems. We were able to evaluate tyres and set up on some complete long runs. A big thank you to Oreca and Stephane Sarrazin for their assistance – it has already proved invaluable. We look forward to The Prologue and to continue improving what is already an extremely fast car.”
Gary Thompson: “It was a good experience to be at Paul Ricard and to help the team gather data from the laps that I completed in the 03R. I’m very happy to have been part of the shakedown and it was a pleasure to work with the team and ORECA.”
Erich Kolb, KCMG WEC Team Manager: “Many thanks to Oreca and our mechanics who have worked very hard the last couple of days to get the car ready for the ORECA 05’s shakedown. It was also a good opportunity for our engineers to develop a brand new car and was a joy to witness this new generation of LMP2 going out of the garage for its first lap. The outing produced very encouraging results and the entire team is looking forward to the start of the season!”
FIA WEC’s official pre-season test, The Prologue, will be held on March 27-28 at Circuit Paul Ricard. To know more about the FIA World Endurance Championship, please visit: www.fiawec.com