Following the ACO online season season presentation Marie Pierre Dupasquier Damagnez grabbed a few minutes with Norma’s Norbert Santos to discuss the company’s new LMP3 and the future of the M20.
It’s official, two Norma M30 cars will be taking part in the ELMS this year, entered by Oregon Team and M.Racing (Yvan Muller). Are you happy?
Of course. To start with two Norma teams amongst the most prestigious taken on by the ACO for the 2017 championship is an excellent news for Norma. More announcements are to follow. Also, I’d like to point out that we are the only non-Ligier manufacturer in the P3 group. It’s a big challenge.
TDS Racing will finally miss to enter the LMP3 category this year. What is the reason?
We won’t be seeing TDS Racing in the LMP3 category this year. Thanks to the excellent 2016 results, the team signed two contracts over the winter to enter the LMP2 category in the WEC championship. As soon as it was official, Xavier (Combet) and Jacques (Morello) contacted me to give me the news. Together, we agreed that TDS would give the LMP3 category a miss this year. However, we are still working together on the project and we are already preparing our future collaboration.
Are there other championships on the agenda for the M30?
Absolutely. We’ll be taking part in the VdeV, the Michelin Cup and later on in the Asian and other national and continental championships. With teams like Brooks Racing, DB Auto and DKR Engineering, believe me, we are quite ambitious. Our presence in the USA in IMSA for the first race in Sebring mid-March is also confirmed now.
We have been working hard behind the scenes for months to prepare our arrival this season with the M30, and we would love to see it compete against the four other manufacturers, wherever it is possible.
Let’s talk about the M30, when will we see it?
Our first cars are being assembled and the first one will be in the hands of Romain Dumas in a few days. We will send out an initial photo promptly. Mid-February, the Norma M30 will be on American soil for the first time to prepare for IMSA. And this won’t be the only one, as four additional Norma M30s will soon cross the Atlantic.
However, before the M30 has its first outing on the racecourse, we still have 12 cars to deliver and numerous discussions are underway. We have been really moved by the recognition we received and this has pushed us to keep working right up until the last minute on the M30 design. We need to be patient just a little longer. All I can say is that the whole Norma team, whose workforce has increased by almost 50% in the last six months, is ready and raring to ensure the successful launch of our LMP3.
Will the M20 CN still have an important position in the Norma programme?
More than ever! The results speak for themselves. We’ve had the best CN on the market for years. We produce several dozens of them every year. And this winter, the pace has increased. Our workshops are operating at full throttle at the moment and new markets have opened up to us.
Four Norma M20s have been delivered to Florida this winter and others are to follow elsewhere. We also have our loyal teams who are renewing their fleets, such as VdeV teams. The M20 is still doing excellently and we have resources in mind and numerous ideas to improve its performance even more if necessary.