OAK Racing will return to the LMP1 ranks for this year’s final two FIA World Endurance Championship rounds in Asia after announcing a deal to run Honda Performance Development engines. The design process of an all-new 2014-specification LMP1 prototype was also confirmed to be underway.
The team’s President Jacques Nicolet announced the news during OAK Racing’s press conference held at 18:00 this afternoon ahead of this weekend’s 6 Hours of Silverstone after being joined by HPD Vice President Stephen Eriksen.
The team’s #15 OAK-Pescarolo LMP1 will be powered by the highly-competitive HPD-AR6 LMV8 engine at this season’s final two rounds in Fuji and Shanghai.
Nicolet also took the opportunity to confirm that the team’s manufacturing department Onroak Automotive has begun the initial design process of an all-new LMP1 car conforming to the ACO/FIA’s 2014 regulations.
Also in attendance were OAK Racing Team Principal Sébastien Philippe and Olivier Quesnel, whose role includes helping to oversee the international growth and diversification of Jacques Nicolet Holding, particularly in relation to the group’s motorsport activities and Onroak Automotive.
Jacques Nicolet, OAK Racing President: “We are very keen to continue in the premier prototype class, which is why we intend to build an all-new LMP1 car in 2014 in accordance with the fresh regulations and in partnership with a constructor. I can therefore confirm that our design office is now working on the conception of our 2014 LMP1.
“In order to race at the top level of LMP1, we have looked for the best way to be competitive during this period of transition until 2014. So I am delighted to announce this agreement with HPD that commences at this year’s final two WEC rounds. We are very grateful that HPD are able to provide us with their powerful LMP1 engine right in the middle of their season and in spite of their various commitments in different championships, particularly IndyCar. We are very honoured that they have made this effort on our behalf.
“2012 will be the first step of a collaboration we would like to initiate between OAK and HPD. We will do our best to confirm the option we have to run either one or two cars in 2013.
“The combination of OAK chassis, HPD engine and our trusted tire partner Dunlop gives me great confidence in this new LMP1 package.”
Stephen Eriksen, Vice President at Honda Performance Development, Inc: “We are very pleased to welcome OAK Racing to the family of teams powered by Honda Performance Development. Jacques and his team have shown that they have a very professional and competitive approach to endurance racing that is well matched to the proven performance of our engines. We look forward to a successful introduction at the Fuji race to begin this chapter in OAK Racing's LMP1 programme.”
Source: OAK Racing