Two WEC slots also secured
OaK Racing has secured three of the 56 entries for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours on June 16/17 following an announcement by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest in Paris on Thursday.
After first stepping up to the premier prototype class last season, the French outfit – based at the Le Mans Technoparc – will return with a single Judd-powered OAK-Pescarolo LMP1 with the full intention of challenging for conventional petrol-powered honours.
A strong challenge will also be mounted in the junior prototype category after a pair of Morgan LMP2s – prepared by OAK Racing and designed by its constructor division Onroak Automotive – also secured grid slots. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the famous British marque’s only class victory at Le Mans to date, a record the team will hope to add to in 2012 following three podium finishes in the past four years.
An extremely competitive 30-car entry list (18 of which are prototypes) for the newly-created FIA World Endurance Championship was also revealed in Paris at the headquarters of TF1 whose Eurosport television channel will broadcast live WEC and Le Mans 24 Hours coverage throughout 2012.
As confirmed yesterday, OAK Racing will field a single OAK-Pescarolo LMP1 in the eight-round global sportscar championship alongside a Morgan LMP2.
OAK Racing’s full driver line-ups for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours and WEC will be announced at a later date.
Jacques Nicolet, OAK Racing Team Owner: “The fact that as many private teams have entered LMP1 as LMP2 is, for me, complete proof of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s appeal, so understandably I am extremely enthusiastic about the fact that OAK Racing has secured two prototype slots.
“The entire team is also delighted to be part of Morgan’s Le Mans 24 Hours return with a pair of LMP2s. In putting together an exceptional entry list – perhaps amongst the best in the race’s 80-year history – the ACO offers us an opportunity to express ourselves in an ultra-competitive environment. It’s an environment that will hopefully see OAK Racing fully demonstrate its qualities as a team and its pair of LMP2 Morgans.
“In addition, we have decided to enter just one LMP1 in the WEC and at the Le Mans 24 Hours as we concentrate our resources in finding improved performance. Nevertheless, a second LMP1 and dedicated technical team will be devoted to a development programme throughout the year that will not only advance future evolutions but also build towards the new technical regulations due in 2014.”
This year’s FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off with the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida on March 17.