In 2009 the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) created Formula Le Mans (FLM) as a one-make series intended to level the playing field and curb the increasing costs of endurance racing. The cars were made by Oreca as a variant of Courage LC75 with a near-stock version of the LS3 GM V8 and Xtrac gearbox.
The intention was to create a one-make series as an opening race to the Le Mans Endurance Series. By 2010 the FLM integrated successfully into regular ALMS and the Le Mans Series.
Formula Le Mans Coordinator Alain Marguet said “Our goal was to have a car with very high quality, reliability and a complete budget for the season without any surprises.”
Marguet talked about the engineering choices: “We chose to use the Courage chassis and it is exactly the same as the LMP1 design. After that we chose a strong American engine, and we modified some parts for reliability, like fitting a dry sump, Marelli electronic injection. For the transmission we chose an proven Xtrac gearbox, which we think is the best in the racing world and we fitted a Megaline shifter. It is one of the best systems and as used by Audi. That is a guarantee of reliability.”