Buoyed by its victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours and its FIA World Endurance Championship and Asian Le Mans Series titles in LM P2, Jacques Nicolet’s team is putting a new organisation in place with new people in charge to bring its latest projects to fruition.
After four year’s exemplary collaboration that has culminated in the above-mentioned successes, Sébastien Philippe, the Team Principal, is saying goodbye to the endurance adventure and going back to his first love – single-seaters! To pursue the team’s development and reinforce its management structure OAK Racing is betting on two new trustworthy and experienced collaborators: Serge Lapierre and Philippe Dumas.
Serge Lapierre is taking over the management side of the company in its many facets including the administrative, human and economic aspects. He will be Jacques Nicolet’s executive manager, and he is determined to optimise the way the company is run to enable everybody to concentrate on racing and the pursuit of performance in the sporting area. Lapierre has been at the head of LSP, the benchmark in the domain of driving courses based at the Magny-Cours circuit, for 18 years. His successes as a company director in the field of motor sport will be a major asset for the team.
Philippe Dumas, a talented team manager since the age of 24, will put the experience he has accumulated in endurance over the years at the service of OAK Racing as sporting director. He ran Hexis Racing for 10 years which he brought to the summit of the GT category with numerous victories including the FIA GT1 World Championship title in 2011 plus the runner-up spot the following year. There cannot be any doubt that his professionalism, his determination to succeed and his ability to unite a team around him will enable OAK Racing to attain its future aims.
They can both count on the experience of the technical director, Thierry Bouvet and team manager Pierre-Alain Bouhet, with OAK Racing since its debut, to ensure the successful outcome of the team’s programmes.
At the moment OAK Racing is putting its sporting strategy in place and deciding on the different championships and series in which it will race. And first on the list is LM P2 as in January OAK Racing will cross the Atlantic to race in the United SportsCar Championship (the USCC), the new American Championship resulting from the merger between the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am. The organisers have accepted the French team’s entry for the season. Starting with the Daytona 24 Hours OAK Racing will run a Morgan-Nissan LM P2, bearing the number 42.
Sébastien Philippe: “I’ve enjoyed four fantastic years at OAK Racing and I would like to express my gratitude to Jacques Nicolet for them. It’s thanks to him that I began my second professional life after my career as a racing driver, and that I discovered the world of endurance. He trusted me and helped me to evolve by putting me at the head of the team, and together we’ve scored some magnificent victories. Today, I have the opportunity of going back to my first love, single-seaters, and it’s a whole new challenge that awaits me. I’m joining the ART Grand Prix team and Frédéric Vasseur, who was at the origin of my racing career. I’d like to wish OAK Racing the very best for the future.”
Serge Lapierre, OAK Racing Executive Manager: “I feel very honoured that Jacques Nicolet has thought of me and given me his confidence to look after the management side of his fantastic winning team. I think it’s really great when people like him take up a sport – any sport in fact – with such passion and ambition. Personally speaking it’s a new and very exciting challenge. There are obvious synergies between our two jobs that we’re going to get the best out of. The team has a number of ambitious technical and sporting projects, and we’re going to implement all our resources to make them succeed
Philippe Dumas, OAK Racing Sporting Director: “OAK Racing is a great team which has just had an extraordinary season. A bright future full of great projects lies ahead of us and I’m proud to be a part of this adventure. I’m ready and determined to take up this new challenge, which will begin at Daytona on 3rd January!”
Jacques Nicolet, OAK Racing President: “Saying goodbye to Sébastien Philippe makes me feel very emotional. I think we became a strong pairing and that’s brought us the results we’re enjoying today. I’d like to wish him all the success he deserves in the next step in his career. This is the right moment for OAK Racing to carry out a reorganisation to achieve its new objectives. Serge Lapierre and Philippe Dumas are joining us and I’m delighted to welcome them. I’m absolutely sure that their talents and their determination will help us to continue our success.”