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Red Bull Advanced Technologies & ORECA To Develop Spec Hydrogen Class Chassis

ACO select consortium to form basis of new class for 2024

The ACO has announced that a partnership between Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT) and ORECA has won the bid to develop the chassis concept that will underpin all the prototypes in the future Hydrogen class at the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The new class of cars is set to take over from the current technology demonstrator run by Mission24 which is set to see its competition debut in the Michelin Le Mans Cup in 2021. The new cars though are intended to be competing for the overall win at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

When the ACO issued a call for tenders for the exclusive supply of the chassis for the Hydrogen prototypes that will compete in the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans, ORECA and RBAT decided to join forces, pooling their expertise in a bid-winning combination.

Both firms have a keen interest in the ACO’s hydrogen programme which includes the creation of a distinct hydrogen class in 2024, and so teamed up for the first time in their history in a joint bid.

ORECA will draw on its expertise of its Design Office and its production skills as well as its endurance racing knowledge and experience, while RBAT will bring its expertise in racing car design, very much focused on aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics, simulation and energy recovery optimisation. The initial task for the partners will be to undertake and provide a detailed feasibility study for the vehicle concept.

RBAT and ORECA join Plastic Omnium, the exclusive supplier of the hydrogen prototype fuel tanks for the cars set to make their Endurance debut in 2024.

Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “This exciting announcement confirms the appeal of Mission H24 and offers a promising future for zero-carbon motor racing and hydrogen prototypes.

“Thanks to ORECA, a mainstay of the 24 Hours of Le Mans for many years, and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, a successful motorsport business, the ACO will benefit from extensive endurance racing experience combined with cutting-edge technology to guarantee outstanding performance in its hydrogen class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“This partnership confirms that the ACO has made the right decisions for the future of motorsport and underscores our ambition for zero-carbon racing for future generations.

“We’re delighted to welcome ORECA and Red Bull Advanced Technologies alongside Plastic Omnium, producer of the hydrogen class fuel tank. Having these top-flight automotive firms on board is likely to draw even more interest from car manufacturers, especially those who regularly contribute to our hydrogen working group.

“We are living in difficult times but the ACO is resolutely pursuing its route towards zero-carbon racing and mobility.”

Red Bull Advanced Technologies CEO Christian Horner: “I am delighted that Red Bull Advanced Technologies have been chosen by the ACO along with our partners ORECA to develop the concept of a hydrogen-powered endurance racing car for Le Mans.

“Red Bull Advanced Technologies are well qualified to take on the challenge set by the ACO having access to many of the tools used to design and develop the Red Bull Racing F1 car, along with significant experience on other cutting edge vehicle programs.

“The Hydrogen Class at Le Mans offers an exciting glimpse into the future of sustainable motorsport and promises both to advance the use of hydrogen in transportation, and will also deliver exciting racing.”

Hugues de Chaunac, President of the ORECA Groupe: “We are proud that the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has chosen us to work alongside Red Bull Advanced Technologies on this ambitious, forward-looking project. And we are excited to be working with the other project partners, among them Plastic Omnium and Green GT.

“Collaboration is vital if we are to succeed in introducing a hydrogen class at the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“ORECA enjoys challenges and pioneering change and we can fully express our talents in such an engrossing enterprise. With the LMH and LMDh classes, endurance racing is entering a fascinating new era. From a technical and sporting point of view, it will have us on the edge of our seats.”