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Delage name returns to Le Mans in IDEC Sport partnership

The name of the historic Delage marque, winner of the 1914 Indianapolis 500, will return to the Le Mans 24 Hours in a partnership deal with the IDEC Sport team.

Delage/IDEC sport

IDEC's ORECA-Gibson 07 LMP2 entered for the double-points round of the World Endurance Championship will bear allegiance to Delage, which was revived in 2019 and already has a prototype of a street legal supersportscar car known as the D12 up and running.

The deal comes 73 years after the French manufacturer made the last of six participations at Le Mans in 1950, a run that included a class victory in 1937.

Delage Automobiles boss Laurent Tapie called the chance to return to Le Mans in conjunction with IDEC a "fantastic opportunity to continue rebuilding the brand's reputation internationally".

Team founder Patrice Lafargue, whose squad has raced at Le Mans in P2 since 2017, said: "IDEC Sport is happy to enter into this partnership with Delage.

"This name means great things to car fans, and there is a real story in La Sarthe. We are proud that Delage recognises our skills."

The IDEC ORECA to be driven by Paul-Loup Chatin, Paul Lafargue, son of Patrice, and Laurents Horr will race in the centenary running of Le Mans in a French racing blue livery incorporating Delage's logo.

The ORECA in its new colours is accompanied in the launch photos by the prototype D12.

Plans for a car billed as "a road-legal Formula 1" machine were unveiled in 2019 and a running prototype made its world debut at last year's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Delage logos will appear on the IDEC Sport ORECA at Le Mans as the revived marque markets its V12-powered D12

Delage logos will appear on the IDEC Sport ORECA at Le Mans as the revived marque markets its V12-powered D12

Photo by: Delage

The car boasts a combined power output from its 7.6-litre V12 engine and hybrid powertrain of approximately 1100bhp.

A production run of 30 cars is envisaged at a facility at the Magny-Cours circuit, with deliveries starting in 2024.

Veteran engineer Mauro Bianchi, grandfather of late Marussia F1 driver Jules, has led development of the chassis and suspension.

Delage was established in 1905 and claimed its Indy victory with Rene Thomas at the wheel of its Type-Y grand prix racer.

The French manufacturer also won the RAC Grand Prix at Brooklands in 1926 and '27, while its first Le Mans start came in 1923.

Production of Delages ceased in 1953 prior to the marque's revival by Tapie, son of former French minister Bernard Tapie.

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