OAK Racing has completed the driver line-up for its #49 LMP2 OAK-Pescarolo, the team’s fourth entry at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with Lotus Renault GP F1 reserve driver Jan Charouz joining Nicolas De Crem and Shinji Nakano.
The 23-year-old Czech racer returns to the Le Mans 24 Hours with the Le Mans-based team looking for similar success to 2010 when, at the wheel of OAK Racing’s #35 LMP2 car, he climbed the podium having finished second in class and seventh overall with Matthieu Lahaye and Guillaume Moreau in the 78th edition of the iconic race.
François Sicard, OAK Racing’s Managing Director, says that adding Charouz to its driving strength was an easy decision to make as the team, already an LMP2 podium regular at the Le Mans 24 Hours having scored three in a row in the event, looks to continue its success in 2011.
“Jan Charouz was an obvious choice to be one of the drivers selected for the #49 car,” Sicard said. “In view of his performances in the #35 LMP2-car last year, his 2009 Le Mans Series title and of course his single-seater career path, Jan is a quality candidate. This will be his second successive year with OAK Racing and he will have a crucial role to play as he represents continuity in the team alongside newcomers Shinji Nakano and Nicolas De Crem. We’re hoping to do as well as, if not better, than last year with the support of this international crew!”
Meanwhile, Charouz is delighted to be returning to OAK Racing and, while he is currently committed to single-seaters with a race programme in the World Series by Renault driving for Gravity Charouz Racing and his Formula 1 commitments with Lotus Renault GP, he’s also determined to again prove his qualities as an endurance driver.
“I am very happy to participate in such a famous race as the Le Mans 24 Hours again this year,” said Charouz. “It’s an honour for me to drive the OAK-Pescarolo LMP2 prototype in this race. Like last year I will be with OAK Racing which is a very professional team capable of preparing a winning car. My team-mates are quick, experienced drivers and I am convinced we’re capable of a good result. The Le Mans 24 Hours is a great event and I’m looking forward to it very much.”
OAK Racing will utilise the #49 LMP2 car to show off the team’s traditional pink-and-black colour scheme, while the other three entries, all of which race in the ILMC, will defend the famous blue-and-orange racing livery of Gulf Oil International.
-source: oak racing