A very strong result for Dragonspeed racing at Imola for Round 2 of the 2016 European Le Mans Series last month proved to be the spark that heralded a major development for the team’s future, bringing forward discussions between Henrik Hedman and team principal Elton Julian about expanding to a two-car effort for 2017.
The plan was quickly confirmed with an order for a pair of the forthcoming ORECA O7 chassis to be run in the ELMS, with hopes of an entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours. The team is aiming to expand its current base at Circuit Paul Ricard to accommodate additional personnel and equipment.
“Imola was just what we needed to remind ourselves that we have the ability and hunger to back up our ambitions,” said Julian. “I can’t thank Henrik enough for his vote of confidence in the team. It’s a dream opportunity and we intend to grab it with both hands. I’ll even be relocating with my family to make sure I can give 100% to the program. We can start talking to potential drivers now, and Henrik and I will be at Le Mans this week to make our case for racing in next year’s 24 Hours.”
“In its short time in LMP2, DragonSpeed has already made great progress. Their first pole and podium at Imola are a just reward for the job they’ve done,” said ORECA President Hugues de Chaunac. “We are happy to see the team growing with two of our cars for next year, and would like to thank both Henrik and Elton for their faith in ORECA. We are looking forward to a strong and successful cooperation.”