OAK Racing produced a stunning collective qualifying performance at Sebring today to ensure that both the team’s prototypes will start at the sharp end for the opening round of this year’s World Endurance Championship.
With the two prototype classes split, it was Olivier Pla who set the scene for a memorable day by claiming class pole position at the wheel of the all-new Onroak Automotive-designed and built #24 Morgan-Judd 2012 LMP2. Following a slow out-lap in search of space, the Frenchman exploded into life to set the fastest lap of the week so far, a 1m50.467, just as red flags for an accident at Turn 1 brought the session to a premature close.
It was a proud moment for the team who had worked tirelessly throughout the week’s four practice sessions after a sizeable accident cost considerable track time on Monday and Tuesday. Pole position also ensures that OAK Racing is the first LMP2 team to score a point in the re-launched World Endurance Championship.
Having seen his team-mate deliver a headline grabbing time, Guillaume Moreau set off in pursuit of one of his own in the OAK-Pescarolo Judd LMP1. With the factory might of Audi’s diesel-powered trio to contend with, as well as a host of seasoned ALMS outfits, replicating his colleague’s feat perhaps looked like a long shot.
But despite the odds, Moreau produced two fast and consistent laps – his best of the week a 1m48.319 – to end up fastest of the WEC petrol-powered entries and fifth overall.