Despite having lost on last month’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, OAK Racing is still pushing ahead with plans for the remainder of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, including the North American debut of its new Ligier JS P2. (En Français)
Team principal Philippe Dumas confirmed to Endurance-Info Monday that its HPD-powered Ligier is still on track to run the final two races of the season, with an effort underway to field a second, Nissan-powered model as well for the season-ending Petit Le Mans in October.
“We’re planning to run the Ligier JS P2 in Austin and Petit Le Mans,” Dumas reconfirmed. “The idea is to have two cars at Road Atlanta. Discussions are ongoing.
“For Petit Le Mans, we’d like to put Mark Shulzhitskiy, Alex Brundle and Jann Mardenborough in the [Nissan-powered Ligier], the same crew from Le Mans.
“The three were wonderful. Mark has a promising future and Alex is well known at this level while Jann is a genius behind the wheel.”
It’s expected that Gustavo Yacaman, Ho-Pin Tung and Olivier Pla will also be part of the team’s lineup for the final two rounds of the season, which will see a transition from its current Morgan-Nissan package.
Yacaman, Tung and Brundle are fresh off a season-best second-place result at Watkins Glen, although having narrowly missed out on the win following a late-race pass for the lead on the second-to-final restart by a DP.
The move, which showcased a P2 car’s power deficiency over the DPs, however, hasn’t left a bitter taste in Dumas’ mouth.
“You cannot cry foul,” he said. “Of course we would have liked to win. Scot Elkins and IMSA are doing what they can to find the right solutions [for Balance of Performance]. It’s in the interest of everyone.
“We are up against big teams. For the last three or four races, the regulation has not changed and the cautions have been much better managed. It’s clear that restarts could have consequences [for P2 cars].
“In the U.S., we are short staffed and we’re at a true deficit because we don’t know the circuits. So we can be proud of what we’ve done, knowing that we are still in the fight for the championship.
“We’re going to throw everything in the battle.”