Pla’s Honda sets best test times at Sebring

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French driver Olivier Pla topped the tests for the upcoming 24 Hours of Sebring with a Honda Ligier. IMSA.COM

French driver Olivier Pla topped the tests for the upcoming 24 Hours of Sebring with a Honda Ligier. IMSA.COM

Olivier Pla of France is finding his way back to victory lane after topping Saturday’s final day of testing with a Honda Ligier at the Sebring International Raceway in Florida for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).

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Pla, the 2015 Total Pole Award winner for the 12 Hours of Sebring, paced the lead Prototype class in a Honda Ligier JS P2 for Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian.

The French driver ran a lap of 1:51.546 (120.704 miles per hour or 193.13 kilometers per hour) in the No. 60 Tire Kingdom entry to lead the two-day session, the final preparation for the 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on March 20 that is the second round for both the IMSA-sanctioned WeatherTech Championship and Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

“The track feels very different from last year, so we are trying different things setup wise,” Pla said. “I don’t think there is anything we can extract from here last year, so we are working hard for the race. We’re making progress, and we’re happy with the test. Yesterday the car was a little hard to drive, so we made it a little bit more comfortable. We still have work to do, but we’re getting there.”

DragonSpeed’s new No. 81 Nissan ORECA 05 was second, with Nicolas Lapierre running a lap of 1:51.661 (120.579 mph or 192.93 khp), while Corvette DPs took the next three positions.

Ryan Dalziel was third with a lap of 1:51.672 (120.567 mph or 192.91 kph) in the No. 90 Visit Florida Racing Corvette DP, followed by Action Express Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque at 1:51.791 (120.439 mph or 192.70 kph) in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling machine and the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP of Ricky Taylor with a best lap of 1:52.029 (120.183 mph or 192,30 kph).

CORE autosport led Prototype Challenge (PC) for the second straight day, with the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 running a fast lap of 1:54.087 (118.015 mph). Second was the Daytona-winning No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA FLM09 shared by Chris Miller, Misha Goikhberg, Stephen Simpson and Kenton Koch with a best lap of 1:54.595 (117.492 mph).

THE TIMES

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