OAK Racing confirmed Thursday that the Ligier JS P2 will make its North American debut at Circuit of The Americas, with Gustavo Yacaman and Alex Brundle set to handle driving duties of the No. 42 entry in the Lone Star Le Mans TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race.
The French squad, which had originally considered a two-car effort for the final two TUDOR Championship races of the season, has elected to instead focus on a single-car program with the HPD-powered Ligier, which replaces its Morgan-Nissan.
Built and developed by OAK’s manufacturing arm, Onroak Automotive, the closed-top LMP2 car made its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which saw Brundle nearly pull off a class win with a Nissan-powered model.
COTA will mark the car’s first time on Continental tires, while also adjusting to IMSA’s increased air restrictor allowed for P2-based machinery.
“The team is thrilled to bits by this new challenge,” said team principal Philippe Dumas. “We’ll have a big setup job to do during practice.
“Our motivation’s still as strong as ever and a top-three finish is our prime target. We’re going to Austin with a lot of humility and high hopes.
“We’ll do everything possible to score a good result on the Ligier JS P2’s first outing on the North American continent, and we also want to shine at Road Atlanta.”
Brundle added: “The Ligier chassis is one I know well from my role in the development process and participation at Le Mans, but the HPD engine is a new challenge for me.
“We will have to get out heads around the machinery quickly to achieve a good result. ”
Yacaman and the team currently sit fourth in the Prototype championship standings, the highest of any P2 team, heading into the penultimate round of the season.
Olivier Pla, who shared the wheel with Yacaman for the team’s first TUDOR Championship win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, is expected to be the third driver for Petit Le Mans.
The Frenchman will focus on his FIA WEC duties at COTA with the OAK-run G-Drive Racing outfit, which will also mark the first race for its Nissan-powered Ligier.