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Red Bull partners with ORECA for Hydrogen class at Le Mans

26 January 2021

Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT) has partnered with ORECA to collaborate on the chassis concept for all future prototypes in the Hydrogen class at the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans, following a competitive pitch by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ASO).

The ASO issued the tender for the exclusive supply of the chassis for Hydrogen prototypes as it moves forward with its zero-carbon motor racing plans.

ORECA and RBAT have joined forces for the first time by pooling their expertise in a bid-winning combination. Both firms have a keen interest in the ACO’s hydrogen programme which includes the creation of a distinct hydrogen class in 2024. ORECA will draw on its expertise of its Design Office and its production skills as well as its endurance racing knowledge and experience, while RBAT will bring its expertise in racing car design, very much focused on aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics, simulation and energy recovery optimisation. The initial task for the partners will be to undertake and provide a detailed feasibility study for the vehicle concept.

RBAT and ORECA join Plastic Omnium, the exclusive supplier of the hydrogen prototype fuel tanks ultimately for the cars set to make their Endurance debut in 2024.

Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest : “This exciting announcement confirms the appeal of Mission H24 and offers a promising future for zero-carbon motor racing and hydrogen prototypes. Thanks to ORECA, a mainstay of the 24 Hours of Le Mans for many years, and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, a successful motorsport business, the ACO will benefit from extensive endurance racing experience combined with cutting-edge technology to guarantee outstanding performance in its hydrogen class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“This partnership confirms that the ACO has made the right decisions for the future of motorsport and underscores our ambition for zero-carbon racing for future generations. We’re delighted to welcome ORECA and Red Bull Advanced Technologies alongside Plastic Omnium, producer of the hydrogen class fuel tank. Having these top-flight automotive firms on board is likely to draw even more interest from car manufacturers, especially those who regularly contribute to our hydrogen working group. We are living in difficult times but the ACO is resolutely pursuing its route towards zero-carbon racing and mobility.”

Red Bull Advanced Technologies CEO Christian Horner: “ Red Bull Advanced Technologies are well qualified to take on the challenge set by the ACO having access to many of the tools used to design and develop the Red Bull Racing F1 car, along with significant experience on other cutting edge vehicle programs. The Hydrogen Class at Le Mans offers an exciting glimpse into the future of sustainable motorsport and promises both to advance the use of hydrogen in transportation, and will also deliver exciting racing.”

Hugues de Chaunac, president of the ORECA Groupe : “Collaboration is vital if we are to succeed in introducing a hydrogen class at the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans. ORECA enjoys challenges and pioneering change and we can fully express our talents in such an engrossing enterprise. With the LMH and LMDh classes, endurance racing is entering a fascinating new era. From a technical and sporting point of view it will have us on the edge of our seats.”

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