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Keiko Ihara Joins OAK Racing for Sao Paulo

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

FIA WEC LMP2 championship leaders OAK Racing announced Monday the addition of Keiko Ihara to its lineup for this weekend’s Six Hours of Sao Paulo.

The Japanese driver who had driven for Gulf Racing Middle East prior to the team’s withdrawal from the series, will take the wheel of OAK’s No. 45 Morgan-Nissan with team boss Jacques Nicolet for four of the final rounds.

Despite not being a full-season entry, the French squad has confirmed its third OnRoak Automotive-designed prototype for the remainder of the season, with Nicolet confirmed for all five races. French gentleman driver, Jean-Marc Merlin, will join the duo in Brazil and will also be a part of the lineup at the Circuit of The Americas.

Additionally, the entry will continue in its art car livery, debuted at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“The whole OAK Racing team is both proud and delighted to welcome Keiko Ihara from Japan, who has had an atypical career and is the only woman driver in the WEC, for the remaining races of the season, which are all taking place outside Europe,” said team manager Sebastien Philippe.

“Keiko is backed by Nissan and this can only help to strengthen our ties with this manufacturer whose engines we appreciate very much because of their performance.”

Following its 1-2 sweep at Le Mans, OAK’s No. 35 entry of Martin Plowman, Ricardo Gonzalez and Bertrand Baguette currently lead the drivers’ championship heading into this weekend’s round.

 

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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