As the European Le Mans Series heads to the UK, Donington Park hosts the second round of the championship this weekend, with OAK Racing doubling its efforts in a bid to keep the team's hopes alive at the “6 Hours of Donington”, as the team enter two cars for the race.
The #35 2012 Nissan-powered Morgan LMP2 will sport the team's original pink and black colour scheme, and will be driven by the team of current OAK drivers Olivier Pla and Bertrand Baguette, with newcomer Dmitiri Enjalbert, who will have his first experience behind the wheel of a prototype sports car. The 27-year-old Frenchman is proud to be racing alongside Pla and Baguette, and is not only overwhelmed, but relishing the experience in a new category for him: “This is a great opportunity and very gratifying to compete for an outfit like OAK Racing. This will be my first appearance in the European Le Mans Series and my first race with an LMP2 car.
“I like new challenges, but will have to find my rhythm quickly. As a silver driver, I am well aware of the mission SÃ©bastien Philippe has set me, and will do everything possible to take all the chances presented to me, in order to compete at that level.”
Baguette will have his first taste of the LMP2 car itself, and Team Principal Philippe is confident that the young squad will help the team to be competitive, even with the lack of experience that Enjalbert has, with an ultimate goal in mind: “The trio of Pla, Baguette and Enjalbert offers us a quick and harmonious line-up. The ELMS is obviously very competitive, but we have all the right elements in place to fight. The target has remained the same since the start of the season: to win!”
The second car being run by the team is the #24 Judd-powered Morgan 2012, which will field a team of drivers that are team mates in the current WEC, with Mattheiu Lahaye and Jacques Nicolet racing in the unmistakeable and iconic Gulf Oil International livery, with the classic blue and orange colours running round the 4.020km, 12 turn British track. Nicolet was pleased that he was being part of the reunion of the 2010-winning team, but is not at all phased with what is in store this coming weekend: “At the time, we scored a podium at Budapest and finished third in the Le Mans Series.
“The Donington track has a reputation of being very selective, because of the site's undulation. It will be a journey of discovery for me!”
It will remain to be seen whether both teams will have luck on their side, when the roar of LMP2 cars, including those from OAK Racing, make their way round Donington this weekend.