To help new teams to become part of the large family of endurance racing and to provide a solid base for the pyramid topped by the Le Mans 24 Hours race, the French Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) had the idea, in 2009, of launching the Formula Le Mans. The new project was presented at Le Mans in June 2008. Originally, it was a one-design championship, for cars with proven technology and reasonable operating costs. Rapidly however, in a tense economic context, the Formula Le Mans cars left their separate league to compete in the Le Mans Series, and then became eligible for the American Le Mans Series and the SportsCar Championship Series in the USA. From 2009 until the end of 2017, Formula Le Mans cars were entered for numerous races around the world.
It was the Oreca firm, a reference in endurance racing, that was in charge of developing and promoting these Formula Le Mans cars for the start of the 2009 season. All the cars were strictly identical, technically: a carbon shell on a Courage LC75 chassis, a weight of around 900 kilos, a 6.2 litre V8 engine on a GM base, developing 430 hp. It was quite good enough to allow young drivers to test their talent against their elders, and offer both gentlemen drivers and confirmed drivers a reliable, fun-to-drive car.
2009 FLM09 #6
Ascott Collection is pleased to present the FLM09 #6, which is one of the 42 FLM09s built by Oreca, with the distinction of having taken part in the first official Formula Le Mans race. On April 26, 2009, a test day was organised on the Bugatti circuit, open to the teams that were competing in the Le Mans Series and, exceptionally, to the teams starting out in the new Formula Le Mans. There were 15 cars on the track, including four FLM09s. At the end of the test, the FLM09 #6 was credited with the best time among the Formula Le Mans cars, with 1’30”584 (compared to 1’23”676 for the the Pescarolo 01 Evo Judd, the fastest car that day).
The FLM09 #6 competed in all the races in the first and only Formula Le Mans season. It was driven by the duo Luca Moro and Wolfgang Kaufmann. It was entered, in particular, for the curtain-raising event before the Le Mans 24 Hours race, which was won by a DAMS-team car driven by the duo Cronje / Verdonck. Having qualified in 11th place, in 4’00”818, the FLM # 6 failed to finish in the points ranking. After the Le Mans 24 Hours race, the duo made regular progress, earning their first podium in the final race held at Magny-Cours.
In 2010, the FLM09 #6 competed in the entire Le Mans Series season. Racing in a category which was specially created for the occasion (quite logically called “FLM”) the car now sported the number “43”. It was also equipped with an “endurance kit” designed in particular to modulate performance so that the LFMs were slower than the LMP2s but finished ahead of the GT2s. The FLM09 #6 was the DAMS team’s leading car, driven by the trio Alessandro Cicognani / Gary Chalandon / Andrea Barlesi. The FLMs raced alongside the racing giants Audi (Audi R15 +), Peugeot (Peugeot 908) and the “GT1 monsters” which were still allowed to compete in 2010, such as the Saleen S7-R, the Matech Ford GT, the Aston Martin DBR9 or the Corvette C6.R. It was a very successful season, the highlight being a category victory at the 1,000 km of Hungaroring. Gary Chalandon and Andrea Barlesi were crowned champions, Alessandro Cicognani could not share the honour, having missed the 1,000 km of Algarve. DAMS also won the team title, two points ahead of the Hope Polevision Racing team.
The FLM09 #6 was the champion car of the 2010 season, and one of the very first chassis to be built. In addition to its excellent race history, it is an excellent car for gentlemen drivers on the look-out for a competitive car which is both economical to race and eligible for the new series. Its particularly economical engine enables very significant reductions in operating costs while still guaranteeing high levels of performance.
- There are no features available