INDIANAPOLIS — The LMP2 class in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is rapidly heating up. Less than a week after Black Swan Racing announced its move into prototypes for the 2012 season, another team is set to test the waters – this one a new entrant to the ALMS.
Conquest Endurance has become the importer and distributor for the OAK-Pescarolo cars in the United States and will field a car in the LMP2 class for 2012. The newly formed Conquest Endurance entity is a subsidiary of the Conquest Racing Team managed by Eric Bachelart, who also owns the Conquest Racing IZOD IndyCar Series team.
It will handle all U.S. sales of the 2012 OAK-Pescarolo LMP2, which has rolled off the line thanks to the extensive work undertaken by Onroak Automotive, OAK Racing’s constructor department.
“We are very excited to have this partnership between Conquest Endurance and OAK Racing and in particular its manufacturer department Onroak Automotive,” said Eric Bachelart, Conquest Endurance Team Principal. “The OAK-Pescarolo car has proven to be a success in Europe and now we look forward to showcasing its speed and reliability here in the United States. We are confident that this will be the chassis to have in ALMS for 2012 and beyond.
“For the Conquest organization this is an important step as we expand our operations. It will be a busy off-season but we are excited about the challenge.”
The 2012-spec prototype has been designed with private teams in mind and will suit both professional and gentlemen drivers. The car complies with the ALMS’ cost-capped LMP2 regulations, and a thorough wind tunnel program has maximized the car’s aerodynamic performance while complying with the FIA’s safety upgrades. The car will be available for sale at the beginning of 2012 and will be compatible with all current LMP2 engine manufacturers including Nissan, Roush Yates and Ford, HPD and others. The Oak-Pescarolo’s 2012 testing program will begin in January with a Nissan powerplant.
“Endurance racing is experiencing a lot of growth in the United States and the LMP2 category is poised to conquer a new place in the North American market,” said Jacques Nicolet, OAK Racing team owner. “Proof of this is the fact that teams like Conquest Endurance have decided to be a part of the ALMS after achieving great success in IndyCar. It was obvious from our first meetings that we should work together and we have created a partnership that is very promising. The OAK Pescarolo car has shown its potential for several seasons in Europe and will now continue to do so in the U.S. The new 2012 version will be highly competitive and will suit private teams running professional and gentlemen drivers alike.”