Guillaume Moreau has confirmed that he will share the OAK Racing/Team Mazda France entry at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours, stepping up from GT1 for the French classic.
The former World Series by Renault frontrunner will be making his third appearance at La Sarthe, but 2009 will be his first in a sports prototype following a couple of years in GT1 with the Luc Alphand Aventures team. That relationship culminated in last year's LMS class title and fifth at the 24 Hours, but ended abruptly on the eve of the biggest race of the season.
"When I learned that the Luc Alphand Adventures team manager had decided to end our collaboration, my world caved in,” Moreau explained, “It's particularly disappointing after what we've achieved since the start of the 2008 season.
"We were GT1 champions in last year's Le Mans Series, and we were lying third in the FIA GT Championship after only two races. I'll always have fond memories of the technical squad and my friendship with Luc Alphand remains intact, as he's not directly involved in this decision.
"I realise that the team has to cope with economic constraints because of its situation, but to find myself without a drive ten days before Le Mans was a huge let down.”
Moreau was always keen to move up the sportscar pecking order, and will now share the #35 LMP2 class Pescarolo-Mazda with Matthieu Lahaye and Karim Ajlani at Le Mans.
“I always had the intention to come back to racing prototypes, even though I didn't think I would stop racing GTs so soon as things have gone really well,” he admitted, “I would like to thank Jacques Nicolet and François Sicard for allowing me to join OAK Racing. The Le Mans 24 Hours was paramount to my sporting programme this year, and I think, together, we are really capable of doing well.”
OAK Racing finished 16th in the latest LMS round, fifth in LMP2 and, ironically, one spot behind the Alphand GT1 Corvette, but is confident it can run well in the 24 Hours, particularly with its latest signing on board.
“We are delighted to welcome Guillaume to the team,” team manager Sicard said, “His background and character fit perfectly with what we want in the #35 car - talent, the enthusiasm of youth and a raw speed that is coupled with solid maturity. This cocktail has, until now, worked quite well for us.”