Pla blasts his way to pole

March 20, 2015

Pla blasts his way to pole

March 20, 2015

He has been the shining star in LM P2 competition on the global stage in recent years and Tracy Krohn’s decision to hire Olivier Pla to join him and Nic Jonsson aboard their Judd-powered Ligier has proven to be a master stroke with the Frenchman charging to pole at Sebring today.

Pla was fastest yesterday in three of the four practice sessions this week and again dominated in qualifying this afternoon – jumping to the top of the times and early and reeling off a series of ultra-fast laps.

pla_press_conferenceEither of his two fastest laps were good enough for pole. He eventually stopped the clocks at 1 minute, 51.152 seconds.

“We were really strong in all the sessions from yesterday,” said Frenchman who has also been hired by Nissan for it’s LM P1 assault which kicks off at Le Mans this year.

“Qualifying went really well. I made maybe one mistake I think. For me, one lap before the end of the session was the pole. I’m very happy. The car was fantastic and the team did a great job.

“I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. For sure we’ll be working hard and working on strategy. It’s always nice to start on pole, especially the pole at Sebring.

“It’s something special, but of course 12 hours is a different story. I have done this race three times, and I know it was never easy. For sure a lot of things can happen. This is a very demanding track and we need to be very clever with our strategy. The last 2.5 hours is where everything happens, so we need to make sure we’re in the right group at the end.”

Pla finished with a .3 of a second gap of Ryan Dalziel’s Patrón Racing ESM HPD machine to make for an all P2 front row. Ozz Negri also challenged strongly mid session before suffering an off-track excursion aboard his Honda-powered Ligier P2 machine.

The pole by Krohn Racing is their first in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competition. The team plans to contest the Patrón Endurance Cup races in the US this year, combined with a championship assault on the European Le Mans Series.

“We spent a lot of time testing since we took delivery,” Krohn said.

“OnRoak did a great job delivering the car in a great package on time and on budget. Oli did a fantastic job today, even though the car looked a little loose to me. The car has been quite good all week long and on testing. It’s been a long dry spell, so we’re pretty pleased.”

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