L'Equipe – On ORECA & Audi
Last Sunday, immediately after the French team’s superb win
at Silverstone, the French sports daily L'Equipe considered
the future of Oreca and Audi – writes David Legangneux.
As happens year after year, the decision about Audi Sport's future
programme is expected to be taken in October, then announced at
the Essen Motor Show, starting on 25 November.
Director Wolfgang Ullrich suggested in L'Equipe that, on the technical
front, "We've made the choice," and it will be
a diesel engine in the next Audi prototype, the R10.
The first versions of the engine have been running
on the test bench for several months, but also on the track, in
a laboratory chassis.
But which team will run the new Audi R10s?
"Historically, when we have made a new car, it has completed
its first year of racing with our official team," says Herr
Ullrich, in L'Equipe.
So Oreca won't continue next year with Audi, unless
it becomes the official team. "It doesn't seem easy for us,
considering our newness in the Audi system," said Hugues de
So continuing the partnership between Oreca and
Audi seems more likely for 2007.
term is more difficult but there is still (the possibility of) an
opening with Audi," said de Chaunac. "While awaiting their
final decision, I have in mind two other possibilities for Le Mans
2006. One in prototypes, one in GT."
For each, it would be with constructors not currently involved in
endurance racing. But if Oreca starts a new program, it wouldn't
be for a single year only, so a partnership with Audi would be difficult
the following year. "It's all a brain-teaser," said de
Chaunac. "My goal is to have a top team in endurance racing.
I must determine exactly with which constructor we must be associated."
So time will tell if the partnership between Audi and de Chaunac
will continue. For the Nürburgring, the choice of the drivers
is scheduled to be announced soon. David's image was timed at 21.58
(and a bit) last Saturday evening. Allan McNish was presumably dancing
a highland jig at the time.