ILMC: OAK Racing sign Ragues for 2011 LMP1 campaign
"We are very happy to welcome Pierre back to the team"
OAK Racing has confirmed the second of its drivers for the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup with the signing of Frenchman Pierre Ragues, who returns to the team having successfully raced with them in 2008.
During his previous stint with OAK Racing, then known as Saulnier Racing, the 26-year-old Ragues scored his first-ever endurance racing podium and also helped the team to its first of three consecutive podium finishes at the Le Mans 24 Hours, ending the year fifth overall in the Le Mans Series LMP2 drivers’ standings.
He has since gained valuable LMP1 experience in both the Le Mans Series and at Le Mans while racing the Signature-Plus Lola-Aston Martin, scoring two podiums in 2010 and finishing fourth in the final drivers’ classification.
Ragues will share one of OAK Racing’s LMP1 OAK-Pescarolo prototypes with compatriot Guillaume Moreau, whose continuation with the team was confirmed last month, in the seven-round ILMC which encompasses the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours and also includes prestigious events in the USA, China and Europe.
François Sicard, Managing Director, OAK Racing: “We are very happy to welcome Pierre back to the team. We remained in touch since 2008 and have followed his results closely – it feels like he’s coming home. Pierre is one of the most experienced young French racing drivers around and he has clearly demonstrated the key qualities of speed and reliability required for endurance racing. Pierre also knows Guillaume Moreau well from their Formula Renault days and his technical experience in the LMP1 class will be of invaluable help to the team as we move up from the LMP2 category.”
Pierre Ragues: “I enjoyed a great season with the team in 2008 but felt that the opportunity to move into LMP1 was too good to turn down. However I parted on very good terms and today feels like a homecoming for me. This programme in the ILMC, taking part in all the most prestigious events such as Sebring, Le Mans, Road Atlanta and Spa, is a dream-come-true for a young driver like me. Although the nucleus of the team is the same, it has grown a lot since I was last here and is even more professional. My testing programme starts in mid-February and it will be an important time ahead of Sebring. I can’t wait to start.”
OAK Racing’s third driver for the team’s ILMC campaign will be announced shortly.
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