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Mardenborough, Shulzhitskiy Complete OAK Lineup for Le Mans

Jann Mardenborough, Mark Shulzhitskiy join Alex Brundle in No. 35 Ligier…

Photo: DPPI/OAK Racing

Photo: DPPI/OAK Racing

A pair of GT Academy stars will join Alex Brundle in OAK Racing’s LMP2 entry for next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Nissan announced Tuesday that Jann Mardenborough and Mark Shulzhitskiy will complete the lineup in the French squad’s Ligier JS P2 Nissan for the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.

The No. 35 entry, carrying the colors the team’s Russian partner, G-Drive, will be one of three Onroak Automotive-built Ligiers in the race.

While Brundle is set for his third Le Mans start following a runner-up finish last year, open-wheel standout Mardenborough will be making his second appearance in the race after a third place result in 2013.

“Le Mans will always be special to me,” said Mardenborough. “We finished fourth on the road last year but were promoted to the podium after the event… It would be good to go back to Le Mans and leave with a trophy in my hands this time.”

Russian GT Academy winner Shulzhitskiy, meanwhile, will make his Le Mans debut after only turning his first laps at the wheel of a prototype less than eight months ago.

Shulzhitskiy, along with Brundle, have been part of the Ligier’s development program alongside OAK factory driver Olivier Pla.

“I am very much enjoying my role as a test driver for the Ligier JS P2,” said Shulzhitskiy. “Working with the engineers at Onroak Automotive and alongside Olivier Pla has been an incredible experience for me.

“Now it is going to get even better as it is finally my turn to race at Le Mans. This is what the winners of GT Academy dream about so I hope I can live up to the performance of the winners who have gone before me.”

Remarkably, the three drivers have combined age of 72, which is likely to be the youngest lineup in this year’s race.

In addition to the No. 35 entry, OAK Racing Team Asia and Thiriet by TDS Racing will field Honda and Nissan-powered Ligiers, respectively.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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