French P2 ace replaces the late Justin Wilson in MSR's Rolex 24 at Daytona lineup, and more.
Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian has announced Olivier Pla will join the team for the four-round North American Endurance Cup as part of its 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign.
Pla, who was recently confirmed as one of Chip Ganassi Racing's Ford GT drivers in the World Endurance Championship, will join 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona champions John Pew, Ozz Negri and AJ Allmendinger in this year's Rolex 24. He will then team with Pew and Negri again in the 12 Hours of Sebring, Six Hours of the Glen, and Petit Le Mans.
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-Honda 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.
“Everybody at Michael Shank Racing has been very welcoming. I’m eager to get going and see what we can do.”
The 2016 running of the Rolex 24 will be Pla’s third attempt in the endurance classic, while his 2014 WEC campaign aboard an Oak Racing-run Ligier saw him claim victories at Silverstone, Spa, Fuji and Shanghai.
“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,” said team owner Mike Shank. “We’re really excited to have him.
“We are eager to get him in the car at the Roar Before the 24 [three-day test, January 8-10, at Daytona International Speedway] and see where he stacks up – but we know where he’s going to stack up!
“We think our driver lineup is one of the best we’ve ever had and we can’t wait. 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.”