Pla, Brundle and Heinemeier Hansson to share OAK Racing’s #24 Morgan LM P2 in WEC
By Mel Fabrikant Sunday, March 03, 2013, 07:06 AM EST
The strength of this season’s LM P2 class has been reflected in the high-calibre line-up that comprises drivers already familiar with the Onroak Automotive designed and built chassis, Nissan engine and Dunlop tyres – with whom OAK Racing will continue as an official partner team for a fifth consecutive year.
Frenchman Pla remains with the Le Mans-based squad for a second WEC campaign after establishing himself as one of the world’s fastest prototype drivers during 2012. Meanwhile British ace Brundle, who raced for the team in Bahrain and Brazil, will contest his first full World Endurance Championship season after moving across from single-seaters. The trio is completed by Heinemeier Hansson who will hope to continue the rapid personal development witnessed last year when driving a Morgan LM P2 in the American Le Mans Series, as well as appearances for OAK Racing at Spa, Le Mans and Silverstone.
A pair of Morgan LM P2s, which will both carry the team’s traditional pink and black livery in 2013, have received full-season entries for this year’s WEC. The driver line-up for the #35 car will be announced shortly.
Sébastien Philippe, OAK Racing Team Principal: “Our first crew to be announced already has a strong relationship from working together in 2012. Obviously this is an excellent starting point. Olivier is very fast and experienced while David demonstrated last season that he is amongst the very best of the silver-rated drivers. Judging by the level he has reached in such a short space of time I’m sure he still has much room for improvement. Meanwhile Alex is a young, talented driver in the making. Our car is also very powerful so we begin the year expecting to challenge for victories.”
Olivier Pla: “I am excited to be staying with OAK Racing for a third season after our relationship began in 2011. This year will be very important. The team has worked hard during the off-season and winter testing at Motorland Aragon was very promising. In view of our 2012 performances and the quality of the Morgan chassis our goal is clear: to win! Our crew is one of the most competitive in the field. David proved his value in the US throughout the 2012 season and at the Le Mans 24 Hours with us, while Alex has already been very successful in endurance racing. We are ready to get stuck in and win the title!”
Alex Brundle: “I am delighted to be joining OAK Racing's 2013 World Endurance Championship line-up. I would like to thank the Nicolet family and Team Principal Sébastien Philippe for offering me the opportunity, as well as my long-term sponsors GAC Global Logistics and Richard Mille for their continued support. Although the competition will be fierce I have confidence that we have the strength and depth required in driving, engineering and mechanical support to be serious contenders this season.”
David Heinemeier Hansson: “I can't wait to get the WEC season started with such a powerful line-up and superb team. It's great to begin a campaign when you already know the car, team and your co-drivers. I think we have an excellent chance to accomplish something special with this package. Silverstone can't come soon enough!”
OAK Racing will continue its pre-season testing programme at Paul Ricard on March 29/30 ahead of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s opening round at Silverstone on April 13/14.