Last winter, several fans were surprised to see that the Swiss team Race Performance was neither on the 2015 WEC, the 24 Hours of Le Mans nor the ELMS entry list. The team had demonstrated strong potential in 2014, and team principal Michel Frey had indicated that they were working on a two Oreca 03R Judd program for this season.
‘In fact, we had to remove both cars from the list of Le Mans candidates two days before the deadline, as some supporting deals did not materialise. It was just not meant to be,’ explains Frey.
However, one of Race Performance’s Oreca 03R Judd cars did appear as the final first reserve at the 2015 Le Mans Test Day. Entered as the #49 car under the KCMG banner, the car unfortunately did not race.
‘We are now committed to competing in the Asian Le Mans Series with one Oreca 03R Judd,’ says Frey. ‘We could have entered two cars, but we preferred to play it safe with one car and relying on a good stock of spare parts.’
One driver has been confirmed at the wheel of the Swiss car: Nicolas Leutwiler, a 55- year-old Swiss driver whom DSC fans will remember seeing at the wheel of the Pegasus Racing Morgan in 2014. ‘We know Nicolas very well. He tested the car in Estoril last year and was recently behind the wheel of it again in Magny-Cours,’ says Frey. ‘We are also in discussion with an Asian pro-driver, but, should things not materialise, I will become the second driver.’
Race Performance’s Oreca Judd is one of the three LMP2’s entries confirmed so far for the 2015 Asian Le Mans Series alongside Algarve Pro Racing’s Ligier JSP2 Nissan (this car though is set to miss the Fuji season opener) and Eurasia Motorsport’s Oreca 03R Nissan.
‘The ultimate objective for Race Performance is nothing less than winning the Championship.’ says Frey. ‘This would provide an automatic entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016.’
Frey is already looking into 2016 season. ‘It is still too early to say for sure what tomorrow will bring. We could opt for a new car, but I think that whatever program we end up being in next year, we should be keeping our Oreca 03R Judd package.’
The Asian Le Mans Series is set to start in Fuji, Japan on 10 October 2015.