Team Oreca is set to return to the World Rally Championship in 2015, by fielding entries in both WRC2 and WRC3 at this weekend’s Rally de Portugal (21 – 24 May).
Hugues de Chaunac’s team first entered rallying in the early 1980’s, using a BMW M1, but it wasn’t until the turn of the millennium that the squad began to win notable events, with two Championships claimed in France, one in Spain, as well as one European title and the Junior World Rally Championship in 2003.
The return to World Rally will also strengthen the French team’s relationship with Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG); 2013 saw the French team run the TS030 Hybrid’s in the WEC on behalf of TMG. Oreca’s rally campaign will see it field two TMG Junior Driver’s; Eric Camilli and Teemu Suninen.
Camilli will drive a Ford Fiesta R5 in WRC2 (top), whilst Suninen will use a DS3 R3 Max in WRC3 (above).
“Many new challenges are awaiting us in Portugal,” explained Oreca president, Hugues de Chaunac.”The team is still learning the drivers as well as the cars, and we have not competed in rallying for many years. For those reasons, humility is our watchword. All the more so as WRC2 is a very competitive class. That means we will be up against tough teams and drivers that are both efficient and reliable. We’re highly motivated and eager to get back. Whilst we’re looking forward to gauging ourselves, both drivers and the whole team are aware of the objective: learning or learning again, not making mistakes and crossing the finish line. Those three aspects go together and I trust everybody to do the utmost so we can be as competitive as possible. “