The Ligier JS of OAK Racing Team Asia China has turned its first wheel ahead of the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours after a shakedown at Magny-Cours.
A return to Le Mans for the iconic Ligier name, the Honda HPD-engined, Michelin-shod JS LMP2 machine was successfully rolled out in France by development driver Olivier Pla and in the presence of its all-Chinese driver line-up of Adderly Fong, Ho-Pin Tung and David Cheng.
Though the closed-coupe chassis has undergone more than 9,000kms of testing with a Nissan engine and Dunlop tyres, this is the first time the Honda-engined, Michelin tyre variant has run.
“There's been a lot of midnight oil burned in the workshops these last few weeks to get this new Ligier JS P2-HPD out on the track by the deadline,” said team manager Philippe Dumas. “An enormous amount of effort and very competent people have been involved in this project. I'm proud and impressed by all the work carried out, and I'd like to congratulate each member of the team who has taken part in this adventure and everybody involved in the development programme, the WEC and USCC race teams, the whole design office and the guys who stayed behind in the workshops to assemble this new prototype. Hats Off to every one of them!
“The Ligier JS P2-HPD still has a long way to go but the shakedown went off very well in the hands of Olivier Pla, the official development driver, relayed by our three Chinese drivers. A few adjustments were necessary but nothing fundamental, which is very positive.
“We've had good results with the Michelin tyres that we were using for the first time, and the very efficient Honda HPD engineers were a great help.”
A name familiar to F1 fans, Ligier returns to the sportscar arena in 2014 with three Le Mans 24 Hours entries – the OAK Racing Ligier-Nissan and the Thriet by TDS Ligier-Nissan