After a disappointing end to his TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season at Petit Le Mans, Gustavo Yacaman has made the trip to Japan with OAK Racing in hopes of improved fortunes in this weekend’s Six Hours of Fuji.
The 23-year-old Colombian makes his FIA World Endurance Championship debut, switching back to an open-top Morgan LMP2 car after taking part in the final two TUDOR Championship rounds in a new Ligier JS P2 Honda.
It comes after a roller-coaster last month for the French squad, which returns to FIA WEC competition for final three of four rounds.
“In racing, you have highs, which was the case in Austin where we got pole and got second with a very, very strong car that was brand-new,” Yacaman told Sportscar365.
“We were expecting a lot out of Petit but I think in the end, the DPs were a lot stronger than we were expecting, and we had some bad luck. I put myself in a bad place and left the outcome of the situation [to the DeltaWing].
“Moving on from that, I’m very excited to be here and racing against LMP2 cars and not having to worry about DPs, the BoP or anything like that. I’m looking forward to having some good, fast racing.”
A large part of OAK’s Petit Le Mans crew is here this weekend with the Judd-powered No. 35 car, including drivers Yacaman and Alex Brundle, as well as engineer Matthieu Leroy and its chief mechanic.
Yacaman and Brundle are joined behind the wheel by Keiko Ihara, one of two Japanese drivers taking part in their home race.
“For sure Alex and I will be up to speed, no problem,” Yacaman said. “We just want to work with Keiko as much as we can and get her as quick as possible. I’m sure we can run for a podium if we get Keiko through a good rhythm.”
While getting a taste of the globe-trotting championship this weekend, Yacaman doesn’t know what his future will hold but has expressed his interest in returning to OAK next year, wherever the team may end up.
“I’m in the hands of Philippe [Dumas] and Jacques [Nicolet], so whatever is in their interest would be in my interest,” he said. “I’d be very happy to be in United SportsCar or FIA WEC, or wherever an opportunity may arise.
“I’ve been talking to [OAK] a lot and they’re very happy with me. They are just not very sure what they’re going to do. I’m sure that if there’s something going on with OAK, I’ll be a part of it.
“But we still don’t know, so I’m keeping my options open and are talking to other people to see what their plans are.”