Oak Racing set a good pace
Back

Oak Racing set a good pace

Third at the 6 Hours of Silverstone, Oak Racing will aim to continue that momentum at Road Atlanta.

Third at the 6 Hours of Silverstone, Oak Racing will aim to continue that momentum at Road Atlanta.

In the prologue to the race to be held on Saturday 1st October, the team participated in the Petit Le Mans "Test Days" on Sunday and Monday. The drivers made ​​their mark on the unfamiliar track at Road Atlantal while the technicians worked on the settings and measured the endurance of the tyres.

Sébastien Philippe, Team Manager: “Overall, we can be quite satisfied with the two days of testing. In LMP2, we improved the set-ups while the #35 crew of Jacques Nicolet, Frédéric Da Rocha and Patrice Lafargue had total confidence in the car which was confirmed by their lap times. We are therefore hoping for an excellent race result, even if we still need to work on reliability. The heat is a factor for both the drivers and cars with a track temperature above 40 degrees Celsius. We have encountered a few problems with the LMP1s’ power steering which is certainly linked to the particular nature of the famous Turn 1 where lateral forces reach 3.5G. Nevertheless, the performance is there and we are targeting a second consecutive ‘petrol cars’ victory with our two crews of Matthieu Lahaye, Guillaume Moreau and Pierre Ragues in the #15 car and Olivier Pla, Alexandre Prémat and Jean-François Yvon aboard the #24. Having said that, it will be a long race featuring heavy traffic and numerous Safety Car periods. It’s these characteristics of American racing that await all of our drivers so I expect strategy and consistency to be key factors. Free practice on Wednesday and Thursday provide an opportunity to make adjustments and will allow us to really gauge our position amongst our fellow competitors.”

Guillaume Moreau, driver of the #15 LMP1:  “Although we did not complete much running on Sunday, we were one of the few teams to sample the wet conditions on Monday morning, which allowed us to validate a lot of parametres with Dunlop. I had no prior experience of Road Atlanta but was still able to familiarise myself with the layout. For its blind corner entries and elevation changes you need a big heart, but I was very quickly into the correct rhythm. The race will be more complicated. Only 20 cars shared the track for the test but more than 50 are scheduled to start on Saturday, which is an average of more than 14 cars per kilometre!”

Olivier Pla, driver of the #24 LMP1: “These two test days have been very constructive. All of the car’s plus points have been confirmed as we continue the progress made at the previous Barcelona tests and then the Silverstone race. Road Atlanta, where I drove in 2008, is a fantastic circuit and the sort we should have in Europe. You need the confidence to just let the car go, which is where the real pleasure comes from. The major difficulty remains traffic management. On Saturday, the key will be not to make a single mistake in an effort to remain as close as possible to the diesel cars and then grab an opportunity should it arise, just like at Silverstone.”

Jacques Nicolet, driver of the #35 LMP2: “The car’s set-up is perfectly suited to a gentlemen driver’s profile and I had a lot of pleasure driving it on my return to LMP2. At the same time, I have rejoined the same crew with which I finished on the podium here and won the ILMC LMP2 title last season. Things are looking good for this year, especially as we are running with a brand new OAK-Pescarolo which is even more efficient.”