Muscle Milk Pickett Racing has announced that it will field a Nissan-powered ORECA 03 LMP2 machine for its Prototype effort in this year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Additionally, the team will bring back its championship-winning duo of Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf to drive the new car. Luhr and Graf finished off their run in the American Le Mans Series this past year by winning a second consecutive P1 class title for the team.
“After winning the last two P1 Championships in the American Le Mans Series, it was important for us to choose a partner for our new adventure into the TUDOR Championship, that can help us continue, and build on, the success we’ve known so far,” team owner Greg Pickett said in a statement.
“Our success the last couple of years was only made possible by our commitment to work closely and collaboratively with our friends and partners at HPD, Wirth Engineering and Michelin. Although we will miss working with them, our commitment to ORECA will be exactly the same.”
Luhr and Graf’s first run with their new ORECA will take place at the “Roar Before the Rolex 24” test sessions from Jan. 3-5, 2014 at Daytona International Speedway.
“We looked very hard into what would be the best way to move forward for us and the ORECA 03 LM P2 with a Nissan engine was the one to have in the past and I’m pretty confident that it will be the same in the future,” Graf said. “It has won many races and hopefully we can win many more.”
As for ORECA founder Hughes de Chaunac, he is hopeful that this is just the first step in bringing more of his company’s 03 machines into the TUSC.
“The United States is a special place for us and the [TUSC] represents a thrilling new chapter,” he said. “Our goal is clear: Win the classics like Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans as a constructor. We are working to have other ORECA 03 entries on track in North America, alongside the numerous ORECA-FLM09 cars already present in Prototype Challenge.
“I can’t wait to see our prototypes race at Daytona, 14 years after our overall victory with the Viper. It’s a new step in the Group’s development in the USA.”
Since its debut in 2011, the ORECA 03 has won 18 times across the FIA World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series.