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Conquest Racing branches out into sportscars

IndyCar team Conquest Racing has confirmed that it will be moving into spartscar racing in 2012 after becoming importer and distributor of the OAK-Pescarolo cars in the US.
Conquest Racing has announced that it has signed a deal to become the importer and distributor for the OAK-Pescarolo sportscars in the US, and is setting up a new subsidiary called Conquest Endurance in order to field a one-car entry in the 2012 American Le Mans Series LMP2 category.

"For the Conquest organization this is an important step as we expand our operations and can now be a part of two of the most important racing series in North America," said team principle Eric Bachelart. "It will be a busy off-season but we are excited about to the challenge!”

The 2012 OAK-Pescarolo LMP2 car is a newly developed sports-prototype complying with the ALMS LMP2 cost-capping regulations and with the FIA's latest safety upgrades. The ar will be available for sale in the new year and will be compatible with all current LMP2 engine manufacturers.

Conquest Endurance has already worked with the OAK-Pescarolo car during a test at Sebring International Raceway earlier this month, and the car's formal testing program will begin in January with a Nissan engine. Fans will have their first chance to see the car in action at Sebring International Raceway during the American Le Mans Series winter test on February 8-9.

“We are very excited to have this partnership between Conquest Endurance and OAK Racing," said Bachelart. "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."

“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 OAK Racing team owner Jacques Nicolet. "I am very pleased to be working with Eric Bachelart, he has a European culture and has managed to get established in the US as a successful team owner at the highest level of motorsports.

"He's also had a successful career as a driver," added Nicolet. "It was obvious from our first meetings that we should work together and we have created a partnership that is very promising."

“IndyCar is still our main priority," insisted Bachelart, whose team fielded Sebastian Saavedra for much of the 2011 season, with a one-off appearance from Formula Nippon star Joao Paulo de Oliveira at Motegi. "Right now, I think it's good to diversify. I've always been interested first in open-wheel racing, but I think what the ALMS is doing is good too ... I look at it as I'm a racing team, not just an IndyCar team."

The OAK-Pescarolo has been one of the most successful LMP2 chassis in recent years, with OAK Racing based in Le Mans close to the La Sarthe circuit. Their cars took second place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010 and won the Le Mans Series LMP2 manufacturer title in the process.



Related Pictures

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The new `12 OAK-Pescarolo designed for the LMP2 class in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. [Photo Credit: Conquest Endurance/OAK Racing]
The new `12 OAK-Pescarolo designed for the LMP2 class in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. [Photo Credit: Conquest Endurance/OAK Racing]
The new `12 OAK-Pescarolo designed for the LMP2 class in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. [Photo Credit: Conquest Endurance/OAK Racing]
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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