OAK Racing plans LMP1 or IMSA for when it has to leave WEC LMP2

The works OAK Racing Ligier team will continue in either LMP1 or the IMSA series when it is no longer allowed to compete in the World Endurance Championship's LMP2 division

OAK Racing plans LMP1 or IMSA for when it has to leave WEC LMP2

OAK, which sealed the WEC LMP2 title in Bahrain last weekend as G-Drive Racing, will not be able to enter this class of the world series from 2017 because new rules state that teams with the same owner as one of the four constructors chosen to build the next generation of secondary prototypes are excluded.

Le Mans-based OAK would be prevented from competing because it is part of the same group of companies owned by Jacques Nicolet that includes Onroak Automotive, builder of the Ligier JSP2 chassis.

Nicolet stressed that he had no plans to close the racing operation after its assault on next year's WEC, in which it will run the Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligiers.

"One way is LMP1 and that is one of our projects," Nicolet told Autosport.

"But we need to put a lot of things together: we only want to do P1 if we can do it with a manufacturer."

That is the position Nicolet has held since Onroak put a project for a new P1 on ice at the end of 2013 and opted to concentrate on the P2 design that became the Ligier JSP2.

But he stressed that the OAK team would continue, even if his LMP1 aspirations do not come to fruition.

"There is also the USA where we competed in 2014 and we could be ready again for 2017."

OAK raced both its Morgan LMP2 and the Ligier in the full 2014 Tudor United SportsCar Championship, which takes its sanctioning body's IMSA name for next season, and scored one victory on the way to fifth place in the end-of-season points.

Works teams will be permitted in the Prototype class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship because it is the premier category and participation is encouraged from car manufacturers.

Onroak is already working on the 2017 P2 Ligier and is testing some new developments on the existing JSP2 at this week's Bahrain Dunlop tyre test.

LIGIER JSP2 IN NUMBERS
35 races
14 pole positions
21 podiums
7 victories
13 fastest laps

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