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European Le Mans Series

Pla to Replace Patterson in Algarve Pro LMP2 Lineup

Olivier Pla to contest remaining ELMS rounds with Algarve Pro Racing…

Photo: Ford

Olivier Pla will replace Mark Patterson in Algarve Pro Racing’s LMP2 driver lineup for the rest of the current European Le Mans Series season.

Patterson sustained pelvic fractures in a testing crash seven weeks ago that ruled him out of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 4 Hours of Monza, and the South African will now be out of the No. 25 Oreca 07 Gibson for the rest of the year.  

Pla, who contested the recently-concluded FIA World Endurance Championship season with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, will step into the lineup alongside John Falb and Andrea Pizzitola.

The trio will be in place for the four remaining rounds at Barcelona, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and Portimao.

Pla has already contested one ELMS race this year, stepping in for Harry Tincknell at Thunderhead Carlin Racing for the Paul Ricard season-opener in April.

Following Patterson’s crash, the Portugal-based Algarve Pro squad brought in French racer David Zollinger for Le Mans, with the team finishing 10th in class.

“We’re excited that Olivier will be joining Algarve Pro Racing for the rest of the 2019 European Le Mans season,” said team principal Stewart Cox.

“We wished Mark Patterson could be with us at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and his presence will be missed for the rest of the year, but Olivier is a champion and a safe pair of hands who will represent Algarve Pro Racing and Mark well, while helping John get the most from himself and the Oreca.”

Pla added: “I’m really looking forward to joining Algarve Pro Racing and to share the No. 25 Oreca 07 LMP2 with John and Andrea.

“I think we have the same expectations and I’m sure together we will push in the same direction to score some strong results during the remaining four races at Barcelona, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and Portimao.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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