Twelve questions for Olivier Pla

Le Mans

How’s the season going so far?

You could say that luck hasn’t been on our side in car #66 since the beginning of the season. At Spa we were on the way to a second-place finish but we had a puncture, which caused a crash. At Le Mans we were clearly on the pace compared to the #68 car that won the race but we lost a lot of time in the pits when the race number light panel stopped working. At the Nürburgring it was a very close fight between Ferrari, Aston Martin and us but then we had to serve a drive-through penalty, which cost us a podium. So in terms of results it’s not what we wanted but the performance is there for sure so I’m very optimistic for the rest of the season!

High point?

Probably our pace at Le Mans, which was very strong.

Low point?

Losing what might have been a very good result at Le Mans because of the light panel issue.

Who (other than yourself!) is driving particularly well at the moment?

The level in GTE-PRO is very very high and if you look at the names of the drivers in WEC they are all driving particularly well!

Where would you like to take the World Endurance Championship if you could race anywhere?

A place like Mosport would be fantastic.

Describe the challenge of Le Mans in three words.

Demanding. Fast. Incredible.

One car (other than the one you’re currently driving), one circuit – what would you choose?

I have too many to say one for my dream garage…

Your greatest race?

I don’t really have one or maybe it is yet to come. I guess any race that ended in victory could be on the shortlist.

The worst car you’ve driven on the road and on track?

Smart Fortwo as a road car and the Nissan LMP1 racing car.

What do you still want to achieve that you haven’t yet?

To win Le Mans and the WEC championship!

The best advice you’ve been given?

Don’t complain, and drive what you have. That was when I was in single-seaters. When you are young you want everything to be perfect but sometimes it’s not possible. At those moments you have to drive what you have and work on yourself to extract the maximum of the car, even when the car is not perfect. You have to always update your driving style with what you have and still be fast! 

What would you be if you weren’t a professional driver? 

Good question! All my life has been dedicated to motor sport and I feel so lucky today to do what I love. There will come a time when I will need to think of what to do next but at the moment I’m so focused on my job. There is still plenty of time before the next chapter!

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