Olivier Pla – “It’s disappointing that we spent the race fighting back”

by Jean-Paul Hackett

The #66 Ford GT, raced by Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson, was the top Ford qualifier in third and was very competitive in the early stages of the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, before an on-track incident caused the car to go off the road and be damaged, losing the crew significant time in the pits.

The trio, which won the FIA World Endurance Championship super-season opener at Spa Francorchamps, battled back to finish seventh in class, scoring some valuable championship points. They now sit fourth in the standings, behind their teammates in the #67 Ford GT.

“We gave it everything today,” said Pla. “We pushed so hard as we had to recover when we lost two laps early on (due to suspension damage suffered when Billy Johnson had contact with a prototype).

“We had high expectations for this race. The Porsche was strong, but we had a good car for the battle, and all I can say is thanks to the guys in our car because they did a fantastic job.”.

The experienced French driver added, “Apart from that costly contact, nobody put a foot wrong, so it’s disappointing that we spent the race fighting back rather than fighting from the front.

“Stefan as always did a great job, and now we’ll focus on the WEC Super Season. In terms of the WEC Championship, we finished fourth today so, added to our win at Spa, we have a good amount of points to build on throughout the rest of the season.”

Team owner, Chip Ganassi concluded, “We brought competitive cars here and I was happy with that aspect, but this is a race where you need a little bit of lady luck on your side, and unfortunately this time around we didn’t have that.”.

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