Olivier Pla with Michael Shank Racing at Daytona
Photo: Michael Shank Racing

Michael Shank Racing has confirmed that French driver Olivier Pla will join the team at Daytona at the end of the month and at the three other Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup rounds in 2016 as their additional endurance driver.

Pla will first bring his experience with the Ligier JS P2 chassis to the table at Daytona with full-season drivers John Pew and Ozz Negri as well as AJ Allmendinger.

After the season-opening round at the Daytona International Speedway to end the month of January, Pla’s next outing with the team will come at the following round in mid-March, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, before he joins Pew and Negri again at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the season-ending Petit Le Mans.

“I’m very happy to join Michael Shank Racing and to share the car with John, Ozz and AJ,” said Pla. “It’s a very strong lineup and I know this car very well. I’ve had a lot of time in the Ligier and know how capable this car is.

“I spent a little bit of time getting to know the guys at the test in Daytona last month and I think we can expect a strong result.”

A P2 Veteran

Pla co-drove OAK Racing’s Ligier JS P2 to four LMP2 class victories during the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship season and has contested the Rolex 24 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the past two seasons.

“Olivier Pla is absolutely in my opinion one of the top two or three guys in the world in a P2 car and specifically in this car,” stated Team Owner Mike Shank. “We’re really excited to have him.

“It’s just a matter of us not making any mistakes on the car side or the team side so we’re continuing to focus on that. We’ve been home at the shop since the November test preparing the car the best we can and we’ll come out strong at Daytona.”

Prior to making his third start at the Rolex 24 at the end of the month, Pla will turn his first laps at the wheel of Michael Shank Racing’s Ligier at this weekend’s three-day Roar Before the Rolex 24 test.