Renault F1 test driver Jan Charouz has secured a seat with the OAK Racing team for the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Czech driver, who won the Le Mans Series title last season with Aston Martin Racing, will join forces with Matthieu Lahaya and Guillaume Moreau in the #35 Pescarolo-Judd as the team looks to make it onto the LMP2 podium for the third straight year.
It will mark a return to sportscars for Charouz, who is racing in the Renault World Series and the new Auto GP series this season.
“I am delighted to join OAK Racing for the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours,” he said. “It is a strong team and we have a very real chance of winning the LMP2 class.
“Although I raced in LMP1 for the past three years, the rules meant that our only chance of victory was if something happened to our diesel-engined rivals – even though we were the fastest petrol-engined car. Today, I'm very excited to be in a car and team that can fight for the win.
“Le Mans is a fantastic challenge, and I can't wait to start working with OAK Racing in order to prepare for the race in the best possible way.”
OAK Racing team manager Francois Sicard added that the team was delighted to have Charouz onboard for the race.
“Despite his young age, Jan is an experienced driver who has competed in endurance racing before and has proven to be a fast and reliable performer,” he said. “He showed that by winning the LMP1 class of the Le Mans Series last year with Aston Martin and he has now joined a team that is capable of fighting for victory in LMP2.
“Along with two other talented young drivers in Guillaume, also a Le Mans Series champion in 2008 in the GT1 class, and Matthieu, who has numerous LMS podiums to his name, Jan can help the #35 car achieve its goal. They are all fast and reliable drivers with previous experience at Le Mans.
“Jan was fourth in 2009, and has three appearances in total, Guillaume has also raced at Le Mans three times, and Mathieu twice, including a third place LMP2 class finish in 2008, and I believe that they will work well together.”