Ligier name to return to Le Mans thanks to OAK partnership

The new LMP2 coupe built by the French OAK organisation will be known as a Ligier as part of a tie-up that will create a range of prototypes stretching from entry-level cars to LMP1

Ligier name to return to Le Mans thanks to OAK partnership

Under the deal with Ligier, which was reborn when ex-Formula 1 team owner Guy Ligier took over racing car constructor Martini in 2004, OAK and sister company Onroak Automotive will be able to offer for sale a Group CN prototype, a car for the LMP3 category due to be introduced in 2015, open and closed P2s and a P1 machine for privateers.

Ligier, whose eponymous cars raced at Le Mans before his entry into F1 in 1976, said: "This association with Onroak Automotive is very important for my company and in particular for the opening up of the Asian market, which is where the future lies.

"I have every confidence in Jacques Nicolet [boss of OAK and Onroak], with whom I have enjoyed a long friendship, to bring the Ligier name back to the summit of endurance."

Nicolet, who raced a Ligier CN car in VdeV series before moving into P2, is known to be a fan of the ex-F1 team and believes that taking the Ligier name will help build his company.

"The Ligier make met with success in F1 and it has scored a top-three finish at Le Mans; it has a real magic about it and I feel very proud to associate myself with this name," he said.

Onroak, which is now a separate company to OAK Racing, has already taken over development of Ligier's latest CN car, the JS53 Evo. It will push sales of the car in Asia, where it will be eligible for next year's Asian Le Mans Series.

An LMP3 prototype to be developed for 2015 is likely to be known as a Ligier, while Onroak's forthcoming LMP1 car could also take the name of a marque that won nine grands prix in its 21-season stay in F1.

Onroak has released pictures of the first monocoque of its closed-top P2 design, but has yet to reveal when the car will race for the first time.

It is likely to come on stream in the first half of the season and it is understood that the plan is for it to be ready in time for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

Onroak will continue to sell its open-top P2, which will remain known as a Morgan.

No decision has been made on the name of Onroak's P1 coupe, which is expected to make its debut in round two of the WEC at Spa.

Nicolet has a two-pronged approach and is looking to sell a non-hybrid customer version, but is also aiming for a tie-up with a manufacturer for a car incorporating energy-retrieval systems.

REMEBER WHEN...

Ligier finished second overall at Le Mans.

In 1975 a Cosworth-powered JS2 prototype shared by Jean-Louis Lafosse and Guy Chasseuil finished only a lap down on the winning Gulf-Mirage.

shares
comments
Ferrari open to LMP1 programme with Formula 1 turbo engine

Previous article

Ferrari open to LMP1 programme with Formula 1 turbo engine

Next article

Analysis: LMP1 equivalence rules set in stone before Le Mans

Analysis: LMP1 equivalence rules set in stone before Le Mans
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Teams OAK Racing
Author Gary Watkins
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021
How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy Plus

How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy

OPINION: Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile Plus

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger Plus

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger

Toyota's new GR010 contender for the World Endurance Championship's Hypercar era has little in common with the LMP1 TS050 that preceded it. But within the confines of the scaled back new rules, its latest challenger will be no less formidable a prospect

WEC
Jan 22, 2021
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Plus

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other

WEC
Dec 16, 2020
How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend Plus

How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot

WEC
Dec 5, 2020