JOTA SPORT GOES FOR BROKE IN EUROPEAN LE MANS SERIES FINALE
11th October 2014
Albuquerque aims to lead Dolan & Tincknell to title glory on “home” soil
JOTA Sport heads for the fifth and final round of the European Le Mans Series in Portugal next Sunday (19 Oct) with its sights set on winning the prestigious title.
The British team is placed second in the standings just 10-points off the series lead while four teams are still mathematically capable of winning the championship depending on the result in the Four Hours of Estoril.
Simon Dolan, Harry Tincknell and Filipe Albuquerque have achieved a win plus second and fourth placings together with three “pole” positions and a fastest race lap in their Dunlop-shod JOTA Sport Zytek in the previous four races.
With a maximum of 26pts up for grabs there are many title permutations. Essentially a “pole” and win for JOTA with reigning ELMS champions and current series leaders, Signatech Alpine, finishing third or lower would earn the British team the Teams’ and Driver’s titles.
Located near the Atlantic coast 20-miles from Lisbon, the 13-corner, 2.6-mile Estoril circuit was first built in 1972 with an endurance sportscar race last run there in 2011.
Proceedings in Portugal begin with practice for the 37-car field on Saturday (1100-1230 & 1530-1700). A 20mins qualifying session for grid positions is held on Sunday morning (1000-1020) with the race starting at 1330.
Motors TV will screen the majority of the race “live” throughout Europe.
* Times quoted are “local” & UK.
Simon Dolan (GB). Age 45. Born: Chelmsford, Essex. Lives: Monaco (MC):
“I’ve raced at Estoril a couple of times before but never in a sports-prototype. We did a test there at the start of the year though so we do have some experience of our Zytek on track. The weekend is all about the win – we have nothing to lose and so we will be absolutely flat out to take a victory and with a little luck, the championship title.”
Harry Tincknell (GB). Age: 22. Born: Exeter, Devon. Lives: Sidmouth, Devon (GB):
“We start the Estoril race the same as every other this year – to go as fast as possible and win – but whatever ultimately happens, it’s been a great year for JOTA and me personally. Obviously a race win is more important this time as we attempt to snatch the ELMS title – bottom line is that we have to win.
“It’s maximum attack but we know we can do it – the Estoril track will suit our Zytek. We tested there at the start of the year and I believe that will prove a valuable experience.
“Unlike Paul Ricard with its very long straight which wasn’t so good for us, Estoril has a much shorter straight and slower speed corners. It’s a ‘traction’ circuit that can be hard on tyres.
“I raced at Estoril in a Winter Formula Renault Series in 2008. It’s an ‘old school’ track in terms of if a driver makes a mistake, he or she gets punished as there are no huge run off areas.
“I love this type of track but they are either dying out or are being being modified.”
Filipe Albuquerque (P). Age 29. Born & Lives: Coimbra (P):
“It will be an amazing final ELMS race with the title contenders giving the Estoril race an extra boost.
“Of course that applies to me as this is my ‘home’ race. To win in front of the Portuguese fans would be one of my greatest memories so far in motorsport.
“The championship title may only be decided on the last lap. We know that we [JOTA Sport] depend on the result of the Signatech Alpine car. Even if we win the race, they cannot finish better than third for us to win the series title.
“Estoril is a track that suits our car much more then the previous one so we set our sights on claiming a ‘hat-trick’ in Portugal – ‘pole’ position, fastest race lap and race victory.”
Sam Hignett. Partner, JOTA Group:
“The entire team is looking forward to the Estoril race, not only because it’s the Championship final but also the added excitement of it being Filipe’s home race.
“The circuit suits the Zytek and we have run a number of races there. The weather can be changeable at that time of year which could be a big factor in deciding the title but we’ll just get on and do the best possible job we can do.”