Whelen Engineering/Action Express Racing (AXR) have signed Olivier Pla (France) to partner Pipo Derani (Brazil) for the remainder of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. Tristan Nunez (Boynton Beach, Fla.) will remain with the team in a stand-by role.
Pla brings a wealth of sports car experience both in Europe and in the United States. With a previous history with Mazda and Meyer Shank Racing he will be competing with Glickenhaus at Le Mans next week. Pla drove the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R for the first time this past week at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta where AXR was testing.
“Joining Action Express Racing is very special to me,” Pla 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!”
“We are happy to have Olivier join the AXR team starting with the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix this weekend,” said Gary Nelson, AXR team director. “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.”
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to the track this weekend in Detroit for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear at the Raceway at Belle Isle, June 3-4.
Source. Kyle Chura Associates/Photo. Brian Cleary