News of 19th February 2007
Nicolas Prost racing at Le Mans!
It has been known for a while that Nicolas Prost will be racing in the Spanish F3 Championship again in 2007. However, Nicolas racing the 24 hours race at Le Mans comes as a big (and nice) surprise to many fans of the French racing driver! The ORECA press release reads as follows:
In the context of ORECA’s new partnership with MATMUT, 25-year-old Nicolas PROST and 24-year-old Laurent GROPPI will drive one of the team’s two Saleens in the Sarthe classic.
Hugues de Chaunac is happy to announce the signature of an agreement between MATMUT and ORECA for the 2007 Endurance season and has gone for youth. “We want to launch our young guns in at the deep end in the Le Mans 24 Hours on 16/17th June,” says the President of the ORECA Group. “Laurent Groppi and Nicolas Prost have the right profile and we hope that the ACO will give a favourable 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.”
This emphasis on youth marks the starting point of a new partnership with MATMUT as confirmed by its Chairman, Mr. Daniel Havis. “Anybody who’s had the slightest contact with motor sport in France has heard of ORECA. 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, organisation 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, the 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 says appreciatively. “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 programme.”
Nicolas Prost says the same thing: “I’m going to do my best to fulfill the mission that Hugues has entrusted to us,” he promises. “It’s all the more important as it’ll help me achieve my objective: namely, to make motor racing my full-time career as soon as possible.” Nicolas, who is preparing to race in the Spanish F3 Championship with the title as his aim, works part time as a financial analyst in a Swiss bank.
Alain Prost is keeping a close eye on the preparation of his elder son for this new challenge. “Nicolas’s debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours comes just at the right time for him,” he thinks. “It dovetails with his main priority, his single-seater programme, and will allow him to acquire experience in a well-structured team that in addition enjoys high-profile media attention.”
The details of the complete 2007 ORECA-MATMUT programme will be announced on 13th March during a press conference on the Le Mans circuit.
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