Olivier Pla will replace Tristan Nunez at the wheel of Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R for the remainder of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season beginning with this weekend’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Belle Isle.
The Frenchman, who most recently drove for Meyer Shank Racing in WeatherTech Championship competition last year, joins 2021 DPi champion Pipo Derani in the Whelen Engineering-sponsored entry.
Nunez will remain with the team in a “stand-by” role according to a team statement. The former Mazda factory driver struggled in recent races, which has seen Derani handle the majority of driving duties.
Pla got his first experience of the Cadillac this past week at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta during a private test.
“Joining Action Express Racing is very special to me,” he said. “I’ve been racing against them for many years, and I know how good they are on the track.
“What they’ve achieved by winning so many races and championships speaks for itself.
“It will be a big challenge to arrive mid-season but I’m ready to take on this challenge. The Cadillac DPi-V.R is a fantastic car and I can’t wait to race it. And of course, extremely happy and proud to join such a great driver and friend Pipo Derani.”
Team director Gary Nelson added: “We are happy to have Olivier join the AXR team starting with the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix this weekend.
“The IMSA DPi Class is very competitive this year and we want to make sure we can have a strong second half to the season.
“Tristan has done a great job driving the Whelen Engineering Cadillac. All of us at Action Express Racing have developed a great relationship with Tristan and his family. He is a young driver with many wins and Championships in his future.
“Tristan remains a major part of this team, and we value having his input on the race weekends to keep moving our program forward.”
Derani currently sits fifth in the DPi championship race entering Saturday’s 100-minute race.