Hungaroring: OAK Racing preview

OAK Racing Team Mazda France Hungary for more podiums The fourth round of the Le Mans Series takes place in Hungary on August 22 where OAK Racing will hope to erase the disappointment of Portugal by returning to the podium. A differential ...

OAK Racing Team Mazda France Hungary for more podiums

The fourth round of the Le Mans Series takes place in Hungary on August 22 where OAK Racing will hope to erase the disappointment of Portugal by returning to the podium.

A differential failure on both cars at the Algarve 1000kms put paid to the string of top three finishes achieved so far this season both in the Le Mans Series and at the Le Mans 24 Hours itself. The #24 car of Matthieu Lahaye and Jacques Nicolet was struck down with the mechanical issue two thirds of the way through the Portuguese round whilst leading, although the pair were able to rejoin after an hour, eventually taking fourth place and crucial LMP2 championship points. The same couldn't be said of Guillaume Moreau and Richard Hein in the #35 sister car however which had been forced to retire with the same problem earlier in the race, although it did retain second place in the LMP2 standings behind the RML Lola but ahead of the second OAK Racing entry and Strakka HPD.

In spite of the impressive HPD engine fitted to OAK's two championship rivals, the twisty Hungaroring layout should suit the pair of Pescarolo-Judds, with the team determined to again prove the package's strong reliability after the similar problems in Portugal were blamed on a bumpy and uneven track surface.

Despite this being the first time that the Hungaroring has appeared on the Le Mans Series schedule, it is by no means an unknown quantity to OAK Racing who undertook Dunlop tyre testing days there during the spring. Lahaye and Moreau both also shone in Budapest during their World Series by Renault days, all of which suggests a positive weekend is on the cards.

Matthieu Lahaye: "I raced at the Hungaroring in the World Series by Renault and like its technical layout. It presents two major difficulties: it's very demanding physically and is very narrow. We will also have to take into account the heat which should be very high right in the middle of August, despite the fact that a part of the race will take place during darkness. I was quite surprised that it was chosen for the Le Mans Series and will be a different sort of race to others where traffic management and overtaking will make the difference. We will have to be very cautious and remain alert. That's what is required in order to finish on the podium at last!"

Guillaume Moreau: "Hungary is twisty and a very demanding circuit; as complicated as Valencia in fact. There is very little time to relax and you cannot make any mistakes. The track is very narrow, the barriers very close and lacking any large gravel traps. It is very difficult to overtake and you have to remain very lucid. During the Dunlop test days, our car performed well and I hope that this will be confirmed again during the race. If we have a bit of luck this time, despite the level of competition being very high, we could even score an OAK Racing double. Personally, I have very good memories of the Budapest circuit where I was on pole ahead of Sebastien Vettel in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2007! That's hopefully a good omen for the coming race!"

-source: oak racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Matthieu Lahaye , Guillaume Moreau , Jacques Nicolet , Richard Hein
Teams OAK Racing