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ESM’s Sharp, Brown Turn First Laps in Ligier JS P2

Scott Sharp, Ed Brown turn first laps in Ligier JS P2…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Scott Sharp and Ed Brown got a taste of the future Saturday at Paul Ricard, as the Tequila Patron ESM duo turned their first laps at the wheel of a Ligier JS P2 during the FIA WEC Prologue pre-season test.

Sharp and Brown completed roughly ten laps each in OAK Racing’s Ligier-Nissan, in advance of the Florida-based team taking delivery of two brand-new Honda-powered cars beginning with the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in May.

“It was really nice of Jacques [Nicolet, Onroak/OAK team owner] and Philippe [Dumas, team principal] to make that happen,” Sharp told Sportscar365.

“I’m really impressed with the car. It certainly does things quite a bit different than [the HPD ARX-03b] cars. It’s going to take a little adjustment for all of us. But I’m very impressed and pretty excited.”

The team was present this week in France with its two HPD ARX-03b cars, which will start the FIA WEC season at Silverstone next month, before making the switch to the pair of Onroak Automotive-built LMP2 cars.

Brown was also complimentary of the Ligier after setting times in the closed-top car Saturday afternoon.

“It’s totally different from anything I’ve driven,” he said. “It’s a very positive car, which builds confidence as the laps go on. I think everyone’s going to love it.”

Despite the limited number of laps, both drivers praised the car’s cockpit visibility, as well as its handling, particularly compared their ARX-03bs, which were recently placed back into service.

“That car really turns quite well, which is a huge difference,” Sharp said. “We are typically fighting an understeer in the 03bs.

“Of course there’s a big difference in how the Nissan and Honda make their power, so the combination is quite a bit different.

Brown added: “Honestly, I love the HPD engine compared to the Nissan. So that was a good comparison too. I think that car will be very good with the HPD in it.

“It’s too bad we can’t get it for Silverstone but we’re looking forward to Spa.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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