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European Le Mans Series

Pla Poised for Racing Engineering LMP2 Drive

Olivier Pla tipped for ELMS full-season campaign with newly graduated LMP2 squad…

Photo: Ford

Olivier Pla is poised to lead Racing Engineering’s LMP2 driver lineup for its debut campaign in the European Le Mans Series. (en Français).

The Frenchman is expected to join the multiple GP2 title-winning outfit in a role that would be balanced with his FIA World Endurance Championship commitments with Ford.

Pla has been tipped to share the Racing Engineering Oreca 07 Gibson with Norman Nato, who is already confirmed, and 2016 LMP3 runner-up Paul Petit.

The team is returning to sports cars this year after 12 seasons in the GP2 Series (now Formula 2) and has expressed a desire to contest the WEC in the future.

Racing Engineering won two GP2 titles in 2008 and 2014 with Giorgio Pantano and Fabio Leimer, and has run the likes of Lucas di Grassi, Neel Jani and Alvaro Parente in the past.

Pla’s ELMS drive would mark his first appearance behind the wheel of an Oreca, having worked as a Ligier development driver since 2014.

The 36-year-old is also currently racing in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup with Tequila Paton ESM, driving a Ligier-based Nissan DPi.

His last full-time ELMS season came in 2016, behind the wheel of a Krohn Racing Ligier, but he also made three appearances in last year’s championship with IDEC Sport, which was cut short due to his end-of-year WeatherTech Championship commitments.

Nato, meanwhile, competed in GP2 with Racing Engineering and is set to make his sportscar debut in 2018 with his former team.

24-year-old Frenchman Petit is expected to fill the role of silver-rated driver, having claimed multiple ELMS podiums during his time in LMP3 with Graff.

Laurent Mercier contributed to this report

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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