OAK Racing’s Alex Brundle has come away with positive first impressions of the new Ligier JS P2, which turned its first laps earlier this month.
The 23-year-old Brit, along with Olivier Pla, both fresh off a fourth place finish in last weekend’s Twelve Hours of Sebring, have been designated development drivers for the Onroak Automotive-designed LMP2 car, which is scheduled to make its race debut at Le Mans in June.
Brundle was tasked with the car’s roll-out at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit two weeks ago, followed by straight-line aero testing at Chateauroux.
“It was really good. I was impressed with the car,” he told Sportscar365. “The basic feeling from the car was obviously not perfect straight out of the box in terms of balance but basically good.
“There’s an obvious direction to go in. There’s a few little niggles; they’ve got a lot of new electrical systems on the car. But if we were doing a 60-lap race, we would have finished it.”
While being an all-new car, one of the big changes has been the switch from the open-top Morgan to the first-ever coupe built by the French constructor. However, no issues were initially reported.
“The visibility in the first test was good and the cockpit is a nice place to be in,” Brundle said. “The driving position is sensible. All of those housekeeping things are under control.”
Brundle is looking forward to being part of the Ligier’s development program, splitting testing duties with team veteran Pla. The two drivers will be taking part in a full program over the next month, including a test in Spain this week.
“To take a car from base principles, designed by a group of very competent people, and take it all the way through it’s development, and go to Le Mans in it, is mega,” Brundle said.
“It’s basically what guys in manufacturer programs do. They come from base principles, start and develop the car and then they go race in their own work.
“That’s something really, really cool to do. I’ve been looking forward to doing it and now I have the chance.”
Up to three Ligiers are expected to debut at Le Mans, including entries from OAK Racing Team Asia and Thiriet by TDS Racing.
Brundle, meanwhile, is confirmed in OAK’s No. 35 Morgan-Nissan, which could be run as a Ligier based on the progress of the car’s development.
It’s understood at least one JS P2 is likely to debut in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship this summer.