Sold for $297,000 at 2014 RM Sothebys
Dallara designed a new car to compete in the LMP900 class during the 2001 racing season. Chrysler worked a deal with Dallara, which stated that Chrysler would use the new SP1 prototype as a platform to return to Le Mans. The first three examples were fitted with 6.0-liter Mopar V8 engines. Oreca was chosen to run the cars, thus the 'DO' chassis designation, for Dallara-Oreca.
Chrysler support lasted just on season, deciding that the project was no longer fruitful. Oreca team owner, Hugues de Chaunac, remained with the project as a privateer. The team established an exclusive development program with English engine builder Judd, replacing the Mopar V8 with a 4-liter Judd GV4 V-10 powerplant.
Chassis number DO-004 was used during the 2002 season for the Le Mans test and race event, where the team qualified 7th, with Olivier Beretta, Pedro Lamy, and Eric Comas at the wheel. The car competed 359 laps with an average speed of 203.967 km/h. It finished 5th overall and 1st for privateers, behind the three Audis and single Bentley factory Works entries.
After LeMans, the car sat dormant for all of 2003. In 2004, it was sold to Martin Short, the owner and manager of Rollcentre Racing in the UK. The team entered three events that year, Sebring in March, the Monza 1000 KM in May, and Le Mans in June. The team also used this chassis during the Le Mans test in April.
At Sebring, the car qualified 6th and finished 5th overall. After Sebring, the car ran at the LeMans test, where it set the 11th fastest time. After testing, the car raced at Monza and after 168 lamps, the team finished 5th overall.
The 24 Hours of LeMans was the final race for the car in 2004. Once again, the car finished with the 11th fastest time during practice. During qualifying, the team qualified 9th on the grid. During the race, it was running in 5th place overall during the second hour. The car then ran without issue until 7:20 a.m. on Sunday, when Martin Short was forced to retire with a suspension issue.
As part of an agreement with Nissan Motorsports, Rollcentre changed the engine from a Judd to a Nissan VQ V-6 that was based on a JGTC (Japanese Grand Touring Championship) for the 2005 season. Another change was the addition fitment of a paddle-shift gear selection system. During the year, the car entered six events - Sebring, Le Mans, Spa, Silverstone, Nürburgring, and the Istanbul 1000 KM.
The change to the Nissan engine did not give the car the same success it had enjoyed in past seasons. A 15th place finish at the final event at Istanbul was the highlight of a difficult season.
Since that time, the car has been given a complete restoration, where it returned to the livery it featured at the 2004 running of Le Mans. It has been refitted with a 4.0-liter Judd GV V-10 engine. It has been used just three hours since it was rebuilt.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014