11th April 2014

British team targets points haul in European Le Mans Series “opener”

JOTA Sport aims to get its European Le Mans Series title campaign off to a flying start at Silverstone on Easter Saturday (19 Apr) by repeating its 2013 outright victory at the Grand Prix venue in Northamptonshire.

JOTA Group partner Simon Dolan (GB) is joined by JOTA Sport debutants Filipe Albuquerque (P) and Harry Tincknell (GB) for the 4 Hour race in the team’s Zytek Z11SN campaigned so successfully last season.

A victory (Silverstone), two third placings (Hungaroring & Paul Ricard) plus a fourth (Red Bull Ring) ultimately saw the Kent-based team achieve third place in the Driver’s (Dolan & Oliver Turvey) and Teams’ championship final standings having started the last race in title contention in both.

This year’s ELMS races are all one hour longer while 12 sportscars are expected to compete in the ultra-competitive LMP2 category on the near 40-car grid set to race on the 18-corner, 3.667-mile Silverstone circuit.

Practice sessions are staged Friday (1035-1135 & 1410-1540), qualifying for grid positions at 1130-1150 on Saturday – the JOTA Sport Zytek having claimed pole-position last year – with the race scheduled to begin at 1430.

Filipe Albuquerque (P). Age 28. Born & Lives: Coimbra (P):

“The championship consists of only five races so it’s vital to score in each race. But it would be additionally nice for JOTA Sport to record another top result at ‘home’. The massive field is looking very competitive with good drivers so it will be tough.

“There is a good prospect of rain and a wet race always makes things unpredictable but we have worked hard to make sure we are well prepared.

“I first raced at Silverstone in 2007 driving a GP2 single-seater. It’s a long track with all different types of corners – very fast, medium fast and even slow turns so a good car set-up is very important.”

Simon Dolan (GB). Age 44. Born: Chelmsford, Essex. Lives: Monaco (MC):

“Silverstone is massively important in terms of getting decent points on the board. We know from last year’s experience that the title is likely to come down to the last few minutes of the final race so every point is critical. Psychologically, of course, a good result in the first race would be a big boost too.

“The quality of the field was there last year but this season it’s even bigger but as the track is so long, ‘traffic’ shouldn’t be an issue. I’m hoping the [weather] conditions will be better than last year. I spent most of my stint in the freezing cold and pouring rain behind the Safety Car.

“My first race at Silverstone was in a Radical in 2008 and my biggest success was last year’s ELMS victory.”

Harry Tincknell (GB). Age: 22. Born: Exeter, Devon. Lives: Sidmouth, Devon (GB):

“I’ve probably raced at Silverstone on 16 different occasions since I made my debut there in a 2009 Formula Renault UK race – the most recent being a FIA Formula 3 Championship race at the corresponding race meeting last April.

“It’s been a happy hunting ground for me and I’m hoping that trend will continue on Saturday. I won both FIA F3 races last year from ‘pole’, claimed a double ‘podium” in British F3 and top-three’s in Formula Renault in 2009 & ’10.

“The Maggots and Beckets section is one of the best combinations of corners in the world. It’s challenging and long with some tight and technical sections.

“Consistently scoring points is what can win us the championship so it’s important to score well at every round. We want to immediately lay down a marker to our opposition.”

Sam Hignett. Partner, JOTA Group:

“The championship is going to be spectacularly competitive. A single mistake in any one of the five ELMS races could cost us the championship more so than ever.

“JOTA Sport was the pole and ELMS race winner at Silverstone last year, and with Harry [Tincknell] who accomplished the same in the F3 races at the that event, I’m hoping that between us we can repeat these feats.

“I’m not too fussed about the weather so long as we don’t get a repeat of last year’s monsoon. It would be great to begin the 2014 season with a good points score and that’s what everyone at JOTA Sport is aiming for on ‘home’ soil.”

* “Live” audio of practice, qualifying and the race can be accessed at with “live” TV race coverage on Motors TV.

Live Updates

Follow us on Twitter for live updates.