Spa: Olivier Pla race report

Olivier Pla returns to winning form ! Driving the Quifel-ASM TEAM Ginetta-Zytek with teammate Miguel Amaral, the Toulouse native won the 1000km of Spa in the LMP2 category. After being forced to retire from the opening race of the Le ...

Olivier Pla returns to winning form !

Driving the Quifel-ASM TEAM Ginetta-Zytek with teammate Miguel Amaral, the Toulouse native won the 1000km of Spa in the LMP2 category.

After being forced to retire from the opening race of the Le Mans Series, at the Castellet, Olivier Pla wanted to bounce back at the Spa-Francorchamps track, host of the second round of the championship. The Frenchman succeeded in his goal, with a victory in the LMP2 category in a hectic race marked by difficult weather conditions.

Olivier started his weekend on Friday with the fastest time in the first practice session on a damp track. He then confirmed the competitiveness of the Quifel-ASM Ginetta-Zytek with the second fastest time in the second session. "I like these kinds of weather conditions," he admitted. But after a shortened final practice, Olivier was looking to the qualifying with a few unknowns. In the end, he established the fourth best time: "I think we could have done a bit better, without going after the two prototypes powered by the HPD (Honda). Actually, we slightly changed our settings to improve our top speed, but we lost in grip. Therefore, we need to find the right compromise for the race."

On Sunday, Olivier Pla took the start of the 1000km race under menacing skies, something that didn't make him unhappy. "I was waiting for this kind of situation, and when I saw the rain drops falling, I told myself that this was the time to do `something.' I got a good start and was able to take the lead by the second lap before carving a 40 second lead! It was hard: I had to attack all the while being careful not to leave the track because we were on the edge." Unfortunately, this gap was brought to zero when the track, and the rest of the Spa region, lost electricity. Everything had to be redone when the race restarted. Miguel Amaral then took over the controls in second place for the next part of the race. He then overtook the Lola/RML and carved more than a minute gap in difficult conditions, with rain starting and stopping..

With Miguel, Olivier therefore found the first step of the podium once again. "I'm happy to return to success," he said. "After the wake up call at the Castellet, where the new aero kit didn't respond how we thought, it was important to rebound here at Spa. So, job well done and it rewards the hard work that the entire team has put forth. The small evolutions we had this weekend were beneficial. But we still have a little ways to go before Le Mans."

After this well-deserved victory, the Quifel-ASM Team depart for Spain where Olivier Pla will do some development testing in the middle of the week.

-source: olivier pla

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