JOTA SPORT AIMS FOR SUCCESSFUL DEFENCE OF LM P2 TITLE IN LE MANS 24 HOURS
8th June 2015
In-form British team targets further glory for Gibson & Dunlop in French “marathon”
Reigning LM P2 Le Mans 24 Hour race champions JOTA Sport return to the scene of the British team’s historic class victory aiming to repeat its tremendous achievement in this year’s twice-around-the-clock encounter staged next weekend (13-14 June). British duo Simon Dolan and Oliver Turvey, two of last year’s winning trio, plus Mitch Evans, from New Zealand, compete for honours in the Dunlop-shod Gibson 015S-Nissan in the ultra-competitive 19-car LM P2 category.
2014 European Le Mans Series runners-up JOTA Sport currently lie third in this year’s series having finished second and third in the opening two races. In its Le Mans “dress rehearsal” at Spa-Francorchamps last month, JOTA dominated the regular FIA World Endurance Championship LM P2 competitors on its way to scoring an emphatic one-lap victory in the six-hour race. JOTA’s 2015 ELMS driver squad includes Filipe Albuquerque and Harry Tincknell alongside Dolan, Harry the third member of JOTA’s winning 2014 Le Mans trio.
With Albuquerque and Tincknell on “factory” duty with Audi Sport and Nissan NISMO respectively at Le Mans, Turvey and Evans feature in the team’s Le Mans line-up. Renault 3.5 and GP2 Series race winner Turvey, a McLaren Formula 1 test and development driver who is also competing in the Japanese Super GT Championship this year, will be making his third consecutive Le Mans appearance with JOTA. Evans, meanwhile, competes for JOTA for only the second time having made his team and sportscar race debut at Spa (2 May). The protégé of ex-Formula One race winner and Porsche “factory” driver Mark Webber is a GP2 and GP3 race winner and recently scored a GP2 podium finish in Barcelona.
JOTA recorded the fifth fastest LM P2 time in the “official” test day at Le Mans recently (31 May) – staged in continually changing weather conditions – and successfully passed the required technical checks today (7 June) staged in Le Mans town centre. First on-track action is Wednesday afternoon with qualifying around the 8.47-mile track for grid positions for the 56-cars contesting the 83rd running of the Le Mans 24 Hour on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The race is scheduled to start on Saturday at 2pm (UK time).
MEANWHILE JOTA Group Partner David Clark will proudly watch five-time Le Mans 24 Hour race winner Derek Bell drive his McLaren F1 GTR in a McLaren Automotive & McLaren Special Operations (MSO) “parade” lap prior to the start of this year’s race. Clark’s McLaren will be one of five examples of the McLaren F1 GTR that dominated the 1995 Le Mans race. Bell, his son Justin and Andy Wallace, finished third in Clark’s Harrod’s sponsored car.
Le Mans Facts:
2015 marks JOTA Sport’s ninth Le Mans 24 Hours.
JOTA has used the same Zytek 07S/Z11SN monocoque (chassis #9) at Le Mans since it joined the LM P2 arena in 2012.
Since 2012, the JOTA Gibson has competed in 21 races (European Le Mans Series & FIA World Endurance Championship) and achieved 12 podiums – including five wins.
In last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, the winning JOTA Zytek clocked up 3,016-miles at an average speed of 125.14mph.
It used 14 sets of tyres, approximately 2,200 litres of fuel & eight litres of oil.
It made 34 scheduled pit stops and one unplanned stop early in the race to repair bodywork.
Simon Dolan will be contesting his fifth Le Mans, Oliver Turvey his third and Mitch Evans his first.
Oliver Turvey has not raced for JOTA or in the Gibson (neé Zytek) since last year’s Le Mans victory.
Le Mans marks Mitch Evans’s second career sportscar race having won on his JOTA Sport & FIA World Endurance Championship debut in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (2 May). It is Mitch’s first-ever 24 hour motor race.
Race week timetable:
Wednesday 10 June – 1600-2000: Free Practice. 2200-2400: Qualifying
Thursday 11 June – 1900-2100: Qualifying. 2200-2400: Qualifying
Friday 12 June – 1730-1900: Driver’s Parade in Town Centre
Saturday 13 June – 0900-0945: Warm-up. 1500: Race Start
* Times listed above are CET and are 1hr BST
JOTA Sport Le Mans 24 Hours – Formguide
2005: Sam Hignett/Haruki Kurosawa/John Stack (Zytek 04S LM P1). Qualified: 10th (3m 41.177s); Race: Not Classified (gearbox), (325 laps). Entered as Team JOTA.
2006: John Neilsen/Casper Elgaard/Philip Anderson (Zytek 04S LM P1). Qualified: 8th (3m 39.252s); Race: 24th o/a / 5th LM P1 (269 laps). Entered as Zytek Engineering.
2007: Jan Charouz/Stefan Mücke/Alex Yoong (Lola B07/17-Judd LM P1). Qualified: 11th (3m 37.737s); Race: 8th o/a / 5th LM P1 (338 laps). Entered as Charouz Racing System.
2009: Greg Pickett/Klaus Graf/Jan Lammers (Lola B07/17-Judd LM P1). Qualified: 12th (3m 31.135s); Race: DNF (engine), (146 laps). Entered as Charouz Racing System.
2011: Chris Buncombe/Simon Dolan/Sam Hancock (Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT2). Qualified: 38th o/a / 10thGTE Pro (4m 00.747s); Race DNF (engine), (74 laps).
2012: Simon Dolan/Sam Hancock/Haruki Kurosawa (Zytek Z11SN-Nissan). Qualified: 25th o/a / 12th LM P2 (3m 41.287s); Race: DNF (wheel bearing), (271 laps).
2013: Simon Dolan/Lucas Luhr/Oliver Turvey (Zytek Z11SN-Nissan). Qualified: 11th o/a / 3rd LM P2 (3m 40. 459s); Race: 13th o/a / 7th LM P2.
2014: Simon Dolan/Harry Tincknell/Oliver Turvey (Zytek Z11SN-Nissan). Qualified: 11th o/a / 2nd LM P2 (3m 37.674s); Race: 5th o/a / 1st LM P2.