Olivier Pla and Gustavo Yacaman from Colombia had a tough battle with both the Prototype and GTD cars throughout the 100 minute race.
The French team OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan LM P2 captures their first podium finish of the 2014 season, finishing third in today’s Detroit Grand Prix. After starting in the fourth position, Frenchman Olivier Pla and Gustavo Yacaman from Colombia had a tough battle with both the Prototype and GTD cars throughout the 100 minute race.
"It was a fantastic race because we stayed in the best position possible,” said Jacques Nicolet, President. “Gustavo (Yacaman) did very well at the start of the race and Olivier (Pla) brought home a great finish by being able to gain a position on the last lap.”
Gustavo Yacaman was the first driver behind the wheel of the Morgan LM P2 powered by the Nissan engine and was able to make a pass for third on the first lap, but was unable to catch the DP race leaders. He held onto a fourth-place position for the first 40 minutes of the race, until it was time to come in for the driver change.
“We have always had a car to land us on top, so I am very happy to be on the podium,” said Yacaman. “We struggled a little at the start. For some reason, I wasn’t able to get the tire temperature that I was getting at Long Beach and Laguna Seca. Jordan (Taylor) did well at the start and I wasn’t able to stop him, but I was able to get around Sharp. We have had a podium car in every race, but luck hasn’t come our way. While we are very pleased with the finish we got today, it is not ideal because we want to be able to push and fight for the podium. Our next goal now is to win the race.”
Yacaman had previously raced at Detroit’s Belle Isle in 2013, where he finished seventh in the Rolex Sports Car Series race. He also had experience at Detroit while racing in the Indy Lights Series in 2012, where he won. The duo of Yacaman and Pla are coming off of a fourth-place finish together on the streets of Long Beach.
This was the first time racing on the streets of Belle Isle for Olivier Pla, however he is very much at ease on city street circuits. Following the driver change with one hour remaining in the race, Pla was able to advance from the fifth position to fourth and maintained that for the remainder of the race. On the final lap, Pla made a pass around the No. 5 Corvette DP following on-track contact between Barbosa and Taylor.
“It was a tough race, but it is great to get a podium finish here,” said Pla. “The DP cars were very fast today, but I was pleased that I was able to push for another position at the end.”
Following today, Pla is on his way to France in order to do some testing laps for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“I am grateful to be getting so much seat time this season,” added Pla. “Between America, the WEC with G-Drive Racing and the development we’ve done with the Ligier JS P2, it’s been very interesting and it is keeping me in good shape.”
The winners of today’s race were J. Taylor/R. Taylor in the No. 10 Corvette DP, followed by Valiante/Westbrook in the No. 90 Corvette DP in second.
The French team OAK Racing next TUDOR USCC race will be Watkins Glen on June 27-29.