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Country of origin:France
Introduced in:2011
Designed by:David Floury for Oreca
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 03, 2011
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter acquiring Courage late in 2007, Oreca naturally emerged as one of the leading prototype constructors in France. While the Oreca team themselves focused on campaigning the continuously developed LMP1 car, the manufacturing department built a large number of the spec Formula Le Mans (FLM) cars. The French company welcomed the-new-for-2011 cost-capped LMP2 class with open arms and soon after announced the 'Oreca 03'.

Like the LMP1 and FLM machines, the Oreca 03's roots can be traced back to the final independent Courage design; the LC70/75. Originally launched in 2006, this versatile design did not only spawn a series of Courage and Oreca cars but also the hugely successful Acuras and HPDs. In the latest incarnations the Paolo Catone penned lines are difficult to distinguish but under the carbon-fibre body panels the same basic chassis design has once again been used.

This chassis is a carbon-fibre composite monocoque with honeycomb reinforcements. Suspension is by double wishbones and push-rods on all four corners. Stopping power is provided by carbon-ceramic disc brakes. The Oreca 03 uses the same body / aero package developed by Oreca's chief-engineer David Floury for the LMP1 car campaigned during the 2009 and 2010 season by the works team. The blade-shaped roll-over structure is still a direct descendent of the original LC70 design.

As part of the regulations the cost of the chassis together with the gearbox is capped at just EUR 345,000. To complete the car the Oreca customers have a choice of production-based engines ranging from a naturally aspirated Nissan V8 to a twin-turbo Honda V6. The Zytek developed Nissan engine and the BMW based Judd HK have proven to be the engines of choice for the teams running the Oreca 03.

Particularly the Nissan-engined 03s proved to be the fastest of the new generation LMP2 cars in the opening races of the 2011 season. Unfortunately reliability issues prevented the Oreca customer teams from converting the raw pace into class victories.

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  Article Image gallery (25) Specifications