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All-New Lineup for PR1/Mathiasen Ligier at CTMP

PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports confirms Ostella, Boulle for CTMP…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

After nearly pulling off a podium finish at Watkins Glen, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports will head into this weekend’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with an all-new driver lineup for its Ligier JS P217 Gibson, in David Ostella and Nick Boulle.

Both drivers are no stranger to the California-based team, with Ostella and Boulle having driven for PR1 in the Prototype Challenge ranks in recent years.

“We won the 12 Hours of Sebring back in 2013, which was actually my first professional sports car race. PR1 gave me my introduction into the sports car world, so I’m really pleased to be able to run with the team this weekend,” Ostella said.

“Most of the racing I’ve done since 2013 has been in GT cars, so driving the Ligier P2 car is going to be very special and definitely a lot different than what I’m accustomed to driving. CTMP is my home track though, so I have a lot of laps there, which will hopefully help me get up to speed quicker.”

Like Ostella, Boulle will also take his first laps in the Ligier this weekend.

“To say I’m excited to be back with PR1 for the weekend is definitely an understatement,” he said. “I would have been excited to join the team again anyway, but to be able to compete in the top class is really special.

“Driving a prototype car was one of my goals for the 2017 season, so I’m very happy to be able to run the Ligier with PR1.

“It will be very important to take advantage of all of the practice sessions and build up slowly because the car is a lot faster than the PC cars I have experience in.”

CTMP was the third and final race that Jose Gutierrez was scheduled to miss this year, with the Mexican driver set to return for the remainder of the year, beginning with next month’s round at Road America.

While having teamed with Olivier Pla at Watkins Glen, it’s unclear if the Frenchman will remain with the team for the final three Prototype rounds of the season.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. CD

    July 6, 2017 at 9:02 am

    And why make this move?? Is Pla busy this weekend or something? He is obviously one of the quickest drivers out there.

    • Wu-Tang Financial

      July 6, 2017 at 9:24 am

      C.R.E.A.M.

      • Lanky Turtle

        July 6, 2017 at 12:22 pm

        Dollah dollah bills y’all.

  2. the boot

    July 6, 2017 at 9:21 am

    PR1 are dependent on funded drivers. Glad to see them find the funds to finish off the season.

  3. N8

    July 6, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Is this effectively an Am/Am lineup?

    It would be nice if they had a season-long Pro, as they’ve had in the past. Retain the services of someone at Pla’s level and that Am seat probably brings a lot more interest and $$.

  4. Mike S.

    July 6, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Pla is fast but PR1 would of got podium if he didn’t have those spins. Also, how is TKS and where does he fit in since he was the pro driver? He was on family leave. Not speed of Pla but doesn’t spin and plenty capable.Is he returning to the team?

    • Andy Flinn

      July 6, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Mike S., the car spent a lot of time in the pits with refueling issues. I wouldn’t pin their lack of a podium at Watkins Glen on Pla.

      Also, at least one of those spins was induced by a tap from another LMP2.

      PR1/Mathiasen needs funded drivers in the car to pay the bills.

      • tracer

        July 6, 2017 at 4:08 pm

        All true.

      • Mike S.

        July 6, 2017 at 5:18 pm

        I hear you about the funded drivers but they are or were committed to Tom Kimber Smith and only because of a family emergency he stepped away. I just wanted to see if that was permanent or if he was coming back.
        As for the fueling issues. Yes I recall the fueling issues. Okay podium wasn’t all on Pla. Then I will put the lack of a win on the refueling issues and Pla’s 2 spins in the middle and late stages. What changed from Detroit on this team to Watkins? They couldn’t even start a race yet alone finish one. They had to of had more support from the manufacturer since. No way you go to not starting lap 1 to almost a podium in a few races and I know it is some of Pla’s support and early development on that car but that isn’t the whole reason why they were more competitive. Anyone know?

        • Kurt

          July 6, 2017 at 7:38 pm

          I believe it was in an article here that they had major support from Onroak (Mfg) for Watkins Glen. There was certainly a handful more people with Onroak shirts on in their paddock. Wouldn’t be surprised if Pla was part of that ‘package’, as Onroak has said Pla and Derani helped develop the Ligier.

          • Mike S.

            July 6, 2017 at 9:13 pm

            Yeah I think you are right. I guess that was the difference. Had to be that. Shows that these cars need a lot of support. Others are wondering why they don’t have all pro lineup. I think their goal is to get to Le Mans so I know it is Pro/Am in WEC P2. Whelen has a Pro/Am of Cameron and Curran who has been a great amateur.

  5. juneracer

    July 7, 2017 at 4:25 am

    LMPC is for Am drivers, not DPi. it won’t be a pleasant race for them…

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