In a year that saw 11 podium finishes, including a 1-2 finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, OAK Racing wrapped up its dream season by claiming the LMP2 drivers and teams’ championships following Saturday’s FIA WEC season-ending Six Hours of Bahrain.
A fourth place result for the Le Mans class-winning No. 35 Morgan Nissan of Martin Plowman, Ricardo Gonzalez and Bertrand Baguette was good enough to take the drivers’ title ahead of the French squad’s sister entry of Olivier Pla, Alex Brundle and David Heinemeier Hansson, who finished second in the race and in the championship.
Having entered Bahrain with a 15-point lead over their teammates, the objective was clear for the No. 35 car and that was to run their own race.
“For the majority of the race, we were driving at 70 percent for what we could do, except for three laps that I pushed hard and had a bit of fun,” Plowman told Sportscar365. “But then after that, it was just about bringing it home in one piece.”
“We came with the objective of just doing a race to win the championship and no more than that,” Gonzalez said. “I guess that’s how we drove the whole weekend, not abusing curbs or over-revving the engine. We knew what we had to do to win.”
While their conservative run helped hand G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR its fourth class win of the season, the No. 26 Oreca 03 Nissan’s exclusion at the double points-paying Le Mans round for illegal fuel cell ultimately made the difference in the title race.
G-Drive’s John Martin, Mike Conway and Roman Rusinov finished third in the drivers’ championship, only 9.5 points behind the OAK trio, who earned the points when it mattered the most.
“It’s like a fairy tale for me,” said 2012 ALMS P2 runner-up Plowman. “Going into this year, I thought it’d be another year on the sidelines playing on Playstation at home. To win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the championship is just a dream come true. I can’t believe my luck right now to be in this position.
“I still don’t know what’s going to happen next year. Even if this is my last race ever, I can say that I went out as a World Champion!”