The Chinese KCMG squad is swapping from Morgan to ORECA chassis for its projected assault on the full World Endurance Championship in 2014.
KCMG, which became the first Chinese team to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2013, has made the decision to run an ORECA 03 for its first full season in the LMP2 division of the WEC after fielding a Morgan built by Onroak for its three-race 2013 campaign and its assault on the Asian Le Mans Series.
Team boss Paul Ip said: “The Morgan won the WEC title and Le Mans, but the ORECA won more races. The Morgan had the edge at Le Mans, but at the other races the ORECA was quicker.
“Last year our focus was on Le Mans, but this year we are looking more at the whole championship.’
ORECA boss Hugues de Chaunac said: “We are very pleased to welcome KCMG within ORECA’s family. Asia, just like America, is a very important connection to us and I am very proud to see that such a team as KCMG has chosen the ORECA 03 LMP2.
KCMG will base itself at ORECA’s Paul Ricard headquarters in France during the European leg of the championship.
KCMG’s move follows one race using an ORECA, leased from the Anglo-Irish Murphy Prototypes squad, in Asia last year. It had to source an alternative car for the Asian round at Zhuhai in early October because it was contesting the Fuji WEC round with its regular Morgan chassis one week later. The team is also set to swap from Michelin to Dunlop tires for the coming season.
Ip explained that his team has signed two of its three drivers for its one-car WEC campaign, but was not in a position to reveal their names ahead of confirmation of its programme due on the publication of the WEC entry list on Thursday.
No decision has been made on which car KCMG will use for its Asian series campaign, according to Ip.
“We have the Morgan chassis and ORECA is keen for us to run one of its cars, but there are other offers from Strakka-Dome and ADESS [a German design house with an LMP2 design],” he said.
KCMG has abandoned plans to also race in the European Le Mans Series because Ip does not want to “spread the team too thin.”