The Le Mans-winning ORECA 05 P2 chassis will not make its American debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. ORECA founder Hugues de Chaunac previously expressed his intentions to field at least one 05 at IMSA’s season opener, but ongoing work on the 05’s replacement will prevent the chassis from being on the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship grid.
“I can confirm we will not have the ORECA 05 in Daytona,” de Chaunac told RACER. “It was a target, but we have many things to get ready for next year with the new [P2] regulations for 2017, so we will not race at Daytona.”
Multiple IMSA teams were in discussion with ORECA about the 05 chassis and its potential use in the Prototype class next season, yet with the French constructor currently focusing on the design and homologation of its mostly-new-for-2017 P2 chassis, showcasing the 05 in America became less of a priority.
“We have new everything for 2017, and we have good results with the 05 in Le Mans, where the chassis won, and in the WEC where it has been very successful, so we feel comfortable [American] teams know the capabilities of the car,” de Chaunac continued. “This means we will support whoever runs the  next year in Europe, and will prepare for 2017 when we anticipate having new ORECA P2s at Daytona. That is our target, and we will spend 2016 getting ready for this.”
As one of the four manufacturers to receive contracts to build ACO/FIA/IMSA-spec P2s for 2017, ORECA will debut the 05’s successor at some point next year, although de Chaunac says he is waiting for a few of the rules to be clarified before track tests can be planned.
“It’s not finalized on every part of the regulations,” he added. “It’s too early to say when the car can turn laps, but we should know around February when this can be finalized.”