OAK Racing will return to prototype competition this year, with the French squad confirming a two-car Ligier JS P3 effort with a quartet of gentlemen drivers in the European Le Mans Series.
Longtime friends and co-drivers Erik Maris and Jean-Marc Merlin will team up in the No. 4 Ligier, while father-and-son Jacques and Pierre Nicolet will pilot the No. 24 car, both slated to compete in the entire six-round ELMS season.
It will mark the full-season racing return for Nicolet, the President of Onroak Automotive and OAK Racing.
“I’m very happy to share this season with my son and my friends, Erik and Jean-Marc,” Jacques Nicolet said.
“So many drivers have enjoyed driving and been completely convinced by the Ligier JS P3, that I too wanted to get a kick out of racing this car built in our Onroak Automotive workshops.
“We’re very proud of this LMP3 that’s helped a lot of people to experience what it’s like to drive a sports prototype, and I’m going to try and be up to scratch to clinch podium finishes with Pierre.”
The 2016 season won’t mark the first time Jacques and Pierre have shred a car, having competed in various VdeV series rounds in the past, including last year’s six-hour enduro at Estoril, where they were joined by ACO President Pierre Fillon as a third driver.
“I know it’s an exceptional stroke of luck for me to be able to share this passion with [my father] and I’m going to savor each session and each race,” Pierre Nicolet said.
“My aim is to enjoy myself as part of a family while still being quick and not making any mistakes.”
The OAK Racing entries are two of the 19 Ligier JS P3s entered in the LMP3 class this season.
The team has also laid out intentions of entering this year’s new Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup support race at Le Mans, which will also be eligible to full-season ELMS LMP3 machinery.