French sportscar driver Olivier Pla has been confirmed for Michael Shank Racing’s North American Endurance Cup program in 2016.
The 34 year old will contest all four rounds of the IMSA series, including the Daytona 24 Hours which takes place on January 30-31.
Pla will join Oswalo Negri Jr, John Pew and AJ Allmendinger at the Florida speedway, driving the Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda.
Further appearances will come at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, the 6 Hours of the Glen in July, and the season-ending Petit Le Mans in October.
“I’m very happy to join Michael Shank Racing and to share the car with John (Pew), Ozz (Negri) and AJ (Allmendinger),” said Pla. “It’s a very strong line up and I know this car very well. I’ve had a lot of time in the Ligier and know how capable this car is.”
“I spent a little bit of time getting to know the guys at the test in Daytona last month and I think we can expect a strong result. Everybody at Michael Shank Racing has been very welcoming. I’m eager to get going and see what we can do.”
Pla, who was recently announced as a Ford works driver in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship, has competed at Daytona twice before. His best finish at the 3.5 mile course was eighth in 2014.
“Olivier Pla is absolutely in my opinion one of the top two or three guys in the world in a P2 car and specifically in this car,” said team owner Michael Shank. “We’re really excited to have him. He fit directly into the seat when we seat-fitted him at the November test.”
“We think our driver line up is one of the best we’ve ever had and we can’t wait. It’s just a matter of us not making any mistakes on the car side or the team side so we’re continuing to focus on that. We’ve been home at the shop since the November test preparing the car the best we can and we’ll come out strong at Daytona.”
Pla will drive the Michael Shank Racing Ligier at the Daytona Roar Before the 24 test session on January 8-10.