Silverstone: Olivier Pla race report

Olivier Pla claimed the pole and clinched the title! At the end of the Le Mans Series finale at Silverstone, the driver from Toulouse became LMP2 Champion with Miguel Amaral and Quifel-ASM Team! With two poles and two victories at Portimao and...

Olivier Pla claimed the pole and clinched the title!

At the end of the Le Mans Series finale at Silverstone, the driver from Toulouse became LMP2 Champion with Miguel Amaral and Quifel-ASM Team!

With two poles and two victories at Portimao and at Nurburgring, Olivier Pla had taken a big step forward the title in the LMP2 class, before the last round of the 2009 season. He was only short of one point to be crowned. And the driver from Toulouse scored this point after claiming his third pole in a row during the 1000Km of Silverstone qualifying. Olivier Pla, Miguel Amaral and Quifel-ASM Team are the 2009 champions!

On Friday and Saturday morning, the free practice sessions run very well for the # 40 Ginetta- Zytek. On the iconic British track, Olivier ruled the class and caused a sensation when he posted the fourth best lap overall! "As soon as the car has been on the track, it has been fast," Olivier explained. "The car was great, and it only confirmed what we were expecting: in fast corners, the chassis of the 09S worked amazingly." The French driver then took advantage of the good potential during the qualifying session : "Several drivers went off so I had an only attempt. But it has been the good one, as I could claim the pole with a one-second gap!" This second meant that Olivier clinched the title even before the start of the race.

The race started as best as possible for Quifel-ASM Team, which has been the unchallenged leader of the LMP2 class. As Olivier pushed strongly, he was even ahead of several LMP1 cars, including an Aston Martin and an Audi! At the end of his first stint, he was leading, but he unfortunately had a fatal issue: "The fuel pressure went down and I had to stop the car alongside the track. I took the team's advices so I took the engine hood out and tried to fix the problem, but I couldn't. It is a shame because we wanted to end successfully on a high note."

Although he retired, Olivier Pla clinched the title with a total of 33 points, so 9 more than its closest rival. He concluded: "I am of course very happy! It is my first title: I already finished among the first three in single-seaters championships, but I never topped the final standings. I enjoy it, especially because it is the result of a team work: Quifel-ASM Team, Ginetta-Zytek and Dunlop. Everybody has been much involved since the beginning of the year: we have steadily improved in all areas. This rewards a two-year work, as everything started in 2008. This title is not an accident: We added the knack to the results with two victories, one podium and three poles! I would like to thank Miguel Amaral and Antonio Simões, who have trusted me since the last season and gave me the opportunity to discover sportscar racing."

Olivier Pla is now savouring his title before getting ready for the 2010 season, and he hopes to be back in Endurance racing and do even better!

-credit: op

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Olivier Pla , Miguel Amaral