Despite a very hectic weekend at Road Atlanta which ended in retirement, Onroak Automotive has drawn positive conclusions concerning the performance of the Ligier JS P2 after a rich and constructive season in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
The final of the Tudor USCC , the Petit Le Mans, took place this weekend in execrable conditions. The Road Atlanta circuit was flooded by pouring rain throughout the whole event, which drowned all Michael Shank Racing’s team’s hopes.
On Thursday the no. 60 Ligier JS P2-Honda was quickest in first free practice, but during the nighttime session the car had a huge shunt after aquaplaning on the pits straight. The MSR team did an exceptional job backed by DeltaWing and Elan Motorsport to rebuild the no. 60 Ligier JS P2 in time for the warm-up on Saturday morning. The weather was as bad as ever, causing the car to aquaplane a second time. Ozz Negri despite his talent and his experience went off and hit the wall, luckily with less damage than in the previous accident.
As the car had been unable to take part in qualifying it started the race in 13th place behind the 12 DP prototypes and Challenge prototypes that had all set a time during the session. After an excellent start and a fightback to sixth place despite the heavy rain and tricky conditions, the no. 60 Ligier JS P2-Honda again aquaplaned off the circuit in the fourth hour: it was another big accident and it spelled retirement for the team who still finished sixth in the 2015 overall general classification.
The accidents deprived the team of another good result, but luckily John Pew was not injured as he was in the car when the most violent crashes occurred. The solidity of the Ligier JS P2, which was subjected to an extreme test this weekend, was confirmed.
So the final round did not live up to the performances which Michael Shank and his team have demonstrated with the Ligier JS P2 in 2015. Throughout the whole season they kept the Onroak Automotive sports prototype among the front-runners in the Tudor USCC, and it battled with the prototype category leaders like Krohn Racing did on its outing in the Sebring 12 Hours.
Performance of the Ligier JS P2 in the 2015 Tudor USCC in the United States:
– In the lead for more than half the free practice sessions – 18/31, 58%.
– 2 pole positions at Daytona and Sebring.
– 3 top-3 finishes: P2 in Detroit, P3 at Laguna Seca and Mosport.
– 4 fastest laps in the race: Daytona, Sebring, Laguna Seca and Mosport.
In 2014, the Ligier JS P2 made a very promising debut in the USA in the FIA WEC, the Tudor USCC in Austin and the Petit Le Mans with 2 pole positions, 3 fastest laps in the race and 1 top-3 finish.
These results proved the success of the Ligier JS P2 in the United States, not only on the national circuits, but also with the teams that saw its debut in Austin last year. Michael Shank Racing and Krohn Racing both chose the Ligier JS P2 for their move into LM P2 after leaving the prototype and GT categories respectively. Extreme Speed Motorsports, already a regular in the category, decided to replace its former car by the Ligier JS P2 starting in the second round of the Endurance World Championship in which it was making its debut this season.
To meet the needs of the American teams the French constructor has opened a branch in the United States. Onroak Automotive North America is represented by Ethan Bregman, an engineer with over 15 years experience in Professional Motorsport in North America and Europe, and will be the contact and the link between the American teams and the French workshops.
Overall general classification – Teams – Tudor USCC 2015 / Top 10 :
1- #5 ACTION SPEED EXPRESS RACING – 309pts
2- #90 VISITFLORIDA RACING – 306pts
3- #31 ACTION SPEED EXPRESS RACING – 304pts
4- #01 CHIP GANASSI RACING – 301pts
5- #10 WAYNE TAYLOR RACING – 292pts
6- #60 MICHAEL SHANK RACING – 273pts
7- #07 MAZDA MOTORSPORT – 241pts
8- #0 DELTAWING RACING – 207pts
9- #70 MAZDA MOTORSPORT – 141pts
10- #50 FIFTY PLUS RACING – 49pts
Michael Shank, MSR Team Owner: ” 2015 was a 100% departure from what we have done in the USA for the last 10 years. When we formed our partnership with Onroak we really had no idea what to expect … I am proud to say that Onroak Automotive over delivered in almost every category in racing… Jacques Nicolet and everyone at Onroak have the exact inner drive that makes a truly great organization and At the end of the day that’s what we want from a chassis partner. We cannot wait for 2016!! ”
Jacques Nicolet, Onroak Automotive President: “It’s been a real pleasure to work with as professional and experienced a team as Michael Shanks’ squad. Despite this weekend’s difficulties, what we’ll retain from our first season together is the very active collaboration between our two companies. We’re now looking towards to 2016 with a common goal – victory!”
Source. Onroak Automotive
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