Prost and Groppi to Race Oreca Saleen
Oreca has announced that 25-year old Nicolas Prost and 24-year old Laurent Groppi will pilot one of the team’s two Saleen S7Rs in the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans. The French outfit was also happy to reveal the partnership of Matmut insurance for the 2007 season. We want to launch our young guns in at the deep end in the Le Mans 24 Hours on 16/17th June,” says de Chaunac. “Laurent Groppi and Nicolas Prost have the right profile le and we hope that the ACO will give a favorable reply to our entry request. The third driver will be around the same age and we hope to announce his identity in the near future.”
“Anybody who’s had the slightest contact with motor sport in France has heard of ORECA,” Matmut Chairman Daniel Havis said. “That’s why we approached Hugues de Chaunac two years ago to ask him to help us because of his company’s experience in the fields of technology, organization and coaching. We began our collaboration on this basis in 2006 in the Le Mans 24 Hours in particular. The integration was a success and it has led to new projects for the 2007 season.”
Laurent Groppi, a past French Formula Renault Champion, is very happy about orienting his career towards endurance after five years in single-seaters.
“Hugues de Chaunac’s trust in me is a real confidence-booster,” he said. “He’s providing me with the chance to give my career a new impetus in a great team with a beautiful car and a good program.”
Nicolas Prost, the son of 4-time Formula One Champion Alain, will make his Le Mans debut, granted the entry gets accepted by the ACO. He is also busy preparing for his full-season Spanish F3 campaign.
“I’m going to do my level best to fulfill the mission that Hugues has entrusted to us,” he said. “It’s all the more important as it’ll help me achieve my objective: namely, to make motor racing my full-time career as quickly as possible.”
“Nicolas’s debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours comes just at the right time for him,” Alain Prost said. “It dovetails with his main priority, his single-seater program, and will allow him to acquire experience in a well-structured team that in addition enjoys high-profile media attention.”