GT aces Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor join OAK at Le Mans 24 Hours

GT stars Laurens Vanthoor and Kevin Estre will make their Le Mans 24 Hours debuts with the OAK Racing LMP2 team in June

Vanthoor and Estre, who have factory GT contracts with Audi and McLaren respectively, will drive the #34 OAK Ligier-Honda JSP2s entered for the World Endurance Championship blue riband on June 13/14.

They will join fellow Le Mans rookie Chris Cumming, who has been a regular in the one-make PC prototype class in the American Le Mans Series and then the Tudor United SportsCar Championship over the past three seasons.

Both Vanthoor and Estre are well known to OAK team principal Philippe Dumas from his time as team manager of the Hexis GT squad: he picked Estre to drive a McLaren MP4-12C at the Baku FIA GT Series finale in 2013; and Vanthoor raced a WRT Audi against Hexis in the same year's Blancpain Endurance Series.

"For me these guys are at the highest level of GT driver and have a big future in endurance," Dumas told AUTOSPORT.

"I've known Kevin for a long time and was able to put him in the McLaren two years ago, and I now really think he deserves this chance in a prototype.

"I don't know Laurens personally so well, but I know how good he is from racing against him."

Spa 24 Hours winner Vanthoor, who took part in the Le Mans test day last year with the Sebastien Loeb ORECA team, claimed that racing at Le Mans would be a "dream come true".

Estre (pictured) said: "I usually fight against Laurens on track as we are both factory drivers from competing makes in GT, so it will be fun to have a break and be together for a race."

Forty-four-year-old Canadian Cumming was announced as part of the OAK line-up on the publication of the Le Mans entry list at the beginning of February and joins the team after testing its first Ligier-Honda at the NOLA circuit near North Orleans last September.

The trio are due to test their Le Mans mount at Spa for two days in May prior to the official pre-race test day.

The full-season entry in the WEC under the OAK banner, a Nissan-engined Ligier, will be raced by team owner Jacques Nicolet and fellow gentleman drivers Jean-Marc Merlin and Erik Maris.

OAK also runs the two G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissans contesting the full WEC.

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