OAK Racing sign Le Mans Series champion for Le Mans 24 Hours OAK Racing has signed reigning Le Mans Series champion and Renault F1 Team reserve driver Jan Charouz to race its ...
OAK Racing sign Le Mans Series champion for Le Mans 24 Hours
OAK Racing has signed reigning Le Mans Series champion and Renault F1 Team reserve driver Jan Charouz to race its #35 LMP2 Pescarolo-Judd at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
The Czech driver, who won the LMS title with Aston Martin Racing last season, will share one of OAK Racing's two cars at La Sarthe with the French team's regular drivers Matthieu Lahaye and Guillaume Moreau.
The 23-year-old is racing in single-seaters this season with a dual campaign in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and Auto GP, but will make his sportscar return at the world's most prestigious motor race with a team that has twice finished on the LMP2 podium at Le Mans in the last two years. The team has also scored two podiums in this season's opening two Le Mans Series rounds.
Jacques Nicolet, Team Owner, OAK Racing: "For the past two years at Le Mans we have dedicated one car to talented young drivers from single-seater racing. We'll do the same this year and we're delighted to have Jan in the #35 car alongside Matthieu and Guillaume.
"The Renault F1 Driver Programme has shown a firm commitment to giving its drivers experience in endurance racing and they were aware that we had a spare seat for Le Mans. The performance and reliability of the LMP2 Pescarolo-Judd made us an attractive proposition and we're delighted to begin this first collaboration."
Francois Sicard, Team Manager, OAK Racing: "Despite his young age, Jan is an experienced driver who has competed in endurance racing before and has proven to be a fast and reliable performer. He showed that by winning the LMP1 class of the Le Mans Series last year with Aston Martin and he has now joined a team that is capable of fighting for victory in LMP2.
"Along with two other talented young drivers in Guillaume, also a Le Mans Series champion in 2008 in the GT1 class, and Matthieu, who has numerous LMS podiums to his name, Jan can help the #35 car achieve its goal. They are all fast and reliable drivers with previous experience at Le Mans. Jan was fourth in 2009, and has three appearances in total, Guillaume has also raced at Le Mans three times, and Mathieu twice, including a third place LMP2 class finish in 2008, and I believe that they will work well together."
Jan Charouz: "I am delighted to join OAK Racing for the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours. It is a strong team and we have a very real chance of winning the LMP2 class. Although I raced in LMP1 for the past three years, the rules meant that our only chance of victory was if something happened to our diesel-engined rivals - even though we were the fastest petrol-engined car. Today, I'm very excited to be in a car and team that can fight for the win. Le Mans is a fantastic challenge, and I can't wait to start working with OAK Racing in order to prepare for the race in the best possible way."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Renault F1 Team: "It is excellent news for Jan and for the Renault F1 Driver Programme that he will be competing at Le Mans with OAK Racing. It gives him a very real chance of victory in the LMP2 class, and an opportunity to demonstrate his talent at one of the world's most prestigious races. It will be more valuable experience for Jan in addition to his programmes in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and Auto GP."
The team has now completed its driver line-up for Le Mans with the trio of Jacques Nicolet, Richard Hein and Jean-Francois Yvon sharing the #24 car which finished third in class last year.
-source: oak racing