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IMSA SportsCar Championship's only full-time Ligier team gets ORECA

The IMSA SportsCar Championship's only full-time Ligier team will switch to an ORECA chassis for the rest of the 2018 season

AFS/PR1 Mathiasen had been the only squad running the Ligier JS P217 full-time in the series this year, although United Autosports has made a series of appearances using the Onroak-built machine in the North American Endurance Cup rounds.

The best result obtained by the #52 Ligier shared by Colombian duo Sebastian Saavedra and Gustavo Yacaman has been a sixth-place finish at Mid-Ohio in May.

Now AFS/PR1 Mathiasen has acquired a new ORECA 07 for the final two rounds of the 2018 campaign at Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta ahead of a full '19 entry in what will be a standalone LMP2 class secondary to the DPi category.

"I first want to thank the Nicolet and Crawford families and Onroak for their continued support and efforts to help us as a team over the last couple of seasons," said team principal Bobby Oergel.

"Max [Crawford], Jacques and Pierre [Nicolet] have been great to work with and we look forward to continuing that relationship with our LMP3 and F4 programmes.

"On the switch of chassis, it's a tough time of the year to make this change for sure but there's no time like the present to make the preparations for next year and push hard to finish off 2018 with a good result."

AFS/PR1 Mathiasen will join a number of other teams using ORECA chassis at Laguna Seca, notably CORE autosport and JDC-Miller Motorsport - which between them have won the last three rounds in the Prototype class.

Team co-owner Ray Mathiasen said it had been "an eventful week", calling the class shake-up for 2019 "necessary and a very welcome change for the future".

He added that he was delighted that the change to ORECA could happen in time for the team's home race at Laguna on September 7-9.

"This will give us the valuable experience we'll need to prepare for 2019 giving Bobby and crew the opportunity to once again return to the podium finishes that have escaped us since our move up to the prototype class," said Mathiasen.

"We couldn't be any more enthusiastic about the rest of this season and next year."

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