Red Bull Advanced Technologies announced a partnership with Oreca to design and develop Hydrogen class chassis for WEC Le Mans 24 Hours race.
After having partnered with IndyCar to develop Aeroscreen safety device, Red Bull Advanced Technologies has now signed up with French manufacturer, Oreca, to design and develop the Hydrogen class chassis for the WEC Le Mans 24 Hours event.
As known from before, ACO is pushing for a Hydrogen class for the Le Mans 24 race. The target is to have the cars ready for the 2024 event, as preparations is already underway with test runs completed in recent years by various drivers.
The said partnership between Red Bull and Oreca will see the latter bring its F1 expertise in terms of aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics, simulation technology and energy recovery optimisation, whereas the latter will bring its design, production and endurance knowledge.
The initial work will see the partners provide a detailed feasibility study of the vehicle concept. Red Bull and ORECA will be joined by Plastic Omnium, who are the exclusive supplier of the hydrogen fuel tanks set for use in the racing prototype.
Upon the announcement, Red Bull Advanced Technologies CEO Christian Horner said: “I am delighted that Red Bull Advanced Technologies have been chosen by the ACO along with our partners ORECA to develop the concept of a hydrogen powered endurance racing car for Le Mans.
“Red Bull Advanced Technologies are well equipped 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 also deliver exciting racing.”
At the same time, Hugues de Chaunac, President du Groupe ORECA, stated: “We are proud that the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has chosen us to work alongside Red Bull Advanced Technologies on this ambitious, forward-looking project. And we are excited to be working with the other project partners, among them Plastic Omnium and Green GT.
“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.”
And finally, Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest added: “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 in 2024.
“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.”
Recently, current Formula E and WEC driver Stoffel Vandoorne and Norman Nato joined the Mission H24 project, who will help in the development of the H24Racing team’s electric-hydrogen-powered prototypes.
Here’s the test run of H24 Racing in 2019