ORECA back for more upsets?

October 1, 2011

ORECA back for more upsets?

October 1, 2011

At one quarter race distance, ORECA’s previous model Peugeot showed they have the potential to again pull a giant upset at the 14th running of Petit Le Mans.

ORECA stole the win at Sebring – running a faultless race from flag to flag to defeat both factory Audi and Peugeot entries.

After 250 of the 1000 miles at Road Atlanta, Marc Gene had the ORECA machine back at the front of the pack again.

Both Audi and Peugeot’s factory efforts have taken a hit with the #2 Audi of Tom Kristensen having contact with a GT car early. The car subsequently had multiple pit visits and a trip to the paddock with a clutch issue.

Rear drive issues also struck the pole position winning #7 Peugeot with Sebastien Bourdais at the wheel. The car stopped out on course a bevel gear shaft failure after three hours. Anthony Davidson and Simon Pagenaud did not get to drive.

In LMP2, Level 5 Motorsport held the lead after 250 miles with the #33 car steered by Scott Tucker, Joao Barbosa and Christophe Bouchut. Their sister car of Luis Diaz and Marino Franchitti was back in the paddock with turbo issues.

The LMPC battle was action packed. Championship contenders CORE autosport got into trouble early with Ricardo Gonzalez having contact and nearly ending in the fence coming onto the main straight.

The team lost two laps in the process, but Gonzalez and Gunnar Jeannette set chase after championship leader Eric Lux at Genoa Racing.

At the 250 mile mark, Ryan Lewis held the lead in the #52in the PR1 Mathiasen car.

The GT battle was continually action packed – Bill Auberlen lead for BMW ahead of the Extreme Speed car of Rob Bell who took over from Guy Cosmo who was very strong in the opening part of the race. Extreme Speed settled into second and third place as the race went past 250 miles.

Heartache befell the Risi Competizione who were out of the race after a crash on formation lap before the green. The #3 Corvette was out after 76 laps with final drive issues while the #99 Jag also had an early demise.

Local ALMS heros including the Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing car (engine) and the #20 Oryx Dyson Racing machine (forced off course and crashed in turn 1) also had a Petit Le Mans they would prefer to forget.

Greg Pickett returned to the cockpit for Muscle Milk and was ahead of the factory Aston before he handed over to Klaus Graf. Butch Leitzinger was un-injured in his Dyson Racing machine after the car finshed firmly into tire barrier in turn one.

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