Mission accomplished for OAK Racing Team Mazda France
The fifth and final round of the 2010 Le Mans Series concluded with an extremely positive result for OAK Racing Team Mazda France. The #35 Pescarolo-Judd of Guillaume Moreau and Richard Hein finished in a fine third place in the LMP2 class, their third podium of the season. The #24 car of Jacques Nicolet and Matthieu Lahaye finished sixth after encountering electrical problems during the third hour of the race at a time when they were also running in the top three. The result clinched a third place finish in the Le Mans Series standings for car #24 and also the Green X Challenge title, a victory which ensures the Magny-Cours-based team will be guaranteed a second invitation to next year's Le Mans 24 Hours. OAK Racing also won the constructors' title with the Pescarolo chassis of which the team owns the rights. Finally, OAK Racing takes an early lead of the LMP2 classification of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, Silverstone being the first of three rounds of the new series launched by the ACO.
Francois Sicard, Team Manager: "I'm very satisfied with the performance of our two crews today. To start at the back of the grid and finish third and sixth again demonstrates the exceptional potential of the team and the Pescarolo/Judd/Dunlop package. Guillaume and Richard made the podium despite a difficult start to the weekend, so the result is a great reward. They finished on the same lap as the HPD of Strakka Racing and the Zytek of ASM, with Guillaume reducing the gap to Olivier Pla by 45 seconds during his last stint! Winning the Green X Challenge title means we have a second guaranteed invitation to the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours alongside the one we have already earned thanks to our second place finish there in 2010. With regards to the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, we are fourth in the overall classification and first in the LMP2 class so all is looking good ahead of the Petit Le Mans and Zhuhai."
Guillaume Moreau: "It is fabulous to finish third today, especially as we weren't able to do any running during free practice and qualifying. I would like to say a big thank you to the entire team as they never lost faith. It's better to have problems during practice than during the race! Despite out lack of running, the car performed well, particularly in the fast corners. I am delighted to be able to finish the 2010 season on a positive note before beginning our preparations for next year."
Richard Hein: "This weekend has been very difficult for me as our technical problems - an electrical problem, a small fire and a fuel leak - meant that I didn't get to drive the car at all until the warm-up session this morning. My first stint went well, but I made the mistake of not taking any water on board during my second and I suffered a bit from dehydration. It is fantastic to step on the podium again and we proved today that we never lost faith. We finished fourth in the championship, which is a bit of a shame after our fantastic start to the season. A big thank you to the team for another fabulous season."
Jacques Nicolet: "The race was a big challenge starting from the back of the grid, but Matthieu produced a great comeback drive. We were in the top three when we encountered electrical problems, which saw us lose power and the engine cut. Nevertheless, I managed to get the car back to the pits and the team did a great job to get us back on track and score some important points for the championship. The overall result of the team is very satisfying and a great reward. I am very proud of the work accomplished this year."
Matthieu Lahaye: "We have finished the fifth and final round of the 2010 Le Mans Series on a positive note. The weekend has been difficult, with the practice sessions taking place in changing track conditions. Nevertheless, we still succeeded in finding a good set-up. Unfortunately, during qualifying I had a spin during my first flying lap. I damaged the tyres and we had to change them for the start of the race. I am happy with my performance in the race and during my last stint we were even able to overtake both Lolas, which allowed us to confirm our position in the championship and end the season in style."
Round 2 of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the Petit Le Mans, will take place at Road Atlanta next month. OAK Racing Team Mazda France will enter a single Pescarolo-Judd for Jacques Nicolet, Frederic Da Rocha and Patrice Lafargue.
-source: oak racing