Elton Julian, now back full time in Europe and living in the South of France, confirmed to DSC yesterday evening that the Dragonspeed team has placed orders for a pair of new Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 cars with both intended for the 2017 European Le Mans Series.
The team’s current Oreca 05 is set to return to the USA post ELMS season and is available for sale and to be upgraded to 07 spec for 2017.
The cost for that upgrade (from Oreca 05 to 2017 Oreca 07) is understood from an industry source to be around 200,000 Euro and the Dragonspeed car may well be the only current 05 available on the market and available for upgrade (rather than cars remaining with their current teams).
The Oreca is the only current LMP2 chassis able to be upgraded to 2017 spec with the Riley Multimatic, Dallara and Ligier 2017 LMP2s all new and clean-sheet designs.
That might be a very good barometer for the appetite for the new Prototype regulations in the USA with little interest yet apparent from private teams outside the potential factory backed DPi programmes, only Peter Baron’s Starworks operation having yet declared their hand with a Riley Multimatic chassis confirmed for 2017.