Matthieu Lahaye will return to driving with OAK Racing at the 6 Hours of Silverstone on September 9-11, his first race with the team since a heavy crash at Spa-Francorchamps in May. He will drive alongside regular teammate Guillaume Moreau and Pierre Ragues in the team LMP1 class Pescarolo.
“I worked with the physios until earlier this month and I have recently come back from the Pyrenees where I started a daily fitness regime with my trainer,” said Lahaye. “The first objective was to allow the fractures to heal, then to return to a good physical condition. I am now ready to get back into the car for the Barcelona tests and, if all goes well, for the 6 Hours of Silverstone.”
“For sure I am very happy with this and I am itching to get back into action! I cannot wait to be back with Guillaume and Pierre and to finish the season strongly.”
“We are delighted to welcome back Matthieu,” said the team's general manager Francois Sicard. “He has remained closely involved with the team during his recovery. Having been our driver and, more importantly, a member of the OAK Racing adventure since the beginning, we welcome him back with great happiness.”
In another change to the driving line-up for the upcoming race at Silverstone – the penultimate race in the Le Mans Series and the final race on the European leg of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup – Olivier Pla joins the team following the withdrawal of the Quifel-ASM squad from the Le Mans Series.
He will join team owner Jacques Nicolet and Alex Premat in driving the team's other LMP1 entry – no.24 – at Silverstone.
The third and final car in the French team's stable for the race – the no.35 in the LMP2 category will be shared once more by Andrea Barlesi, FrÃ©dÃ©ric Da Rocha, and Patrice Lafargue.
The time since the team's previous race in the 6 Hours of Imola has been spent trying to solve the problems – which Sicard describes as “vibration issues” – they encountered at the Italian track.
A test at Barcelona last week was a final check on the work to recover the lost reliability as well as a chance for both Lahaye and Pla to drive their cars before the first sessions at Silverstone.