JOTA SPORT RECRUITS TURVEY FOR BRITISH TEAM’S LE MANS LM P2 TITLE DEFENCE
7th May 2015
Last year’s “Super Sub” returns for 24 Hour race with British team for third consecutive year
Oliver Turvey completes JOTA Sport’s line-up for the defence of the British team’s Le Mans 24 Hours LM P2 title. The 28-year-old Briton partners Simon Dolan (GB) and Mitch Evans (NZ) in the Gibson 015S Nissan. 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. In 2013, the Renault 3.5 and GP2 Series race winner, partnered Dolan and Luhr to seventh place in LM P2 and last year won the category with Simon and Harry Tincknell, placing a praiseworthy fifth overall.
The former Cambridge University student received a last minute call-up last June when Audi Sport Team Joest “reserve” driver Marc Gené was unexpectedly recalled to the German squad following the accident of Loïc Duval in Wednesday’s practice session. JOTA Sport Team Principal Sam Hignett telephoned Turvey that evening and Oliver was present to compete in Thursday evening’s qualifying session. Despite not having sat in the then Zytek, this year rebranded a Gibson, since Le Mans 12 months earlier and not having raced in 2014 up until that point, Oliver, Simon and Harry scored a sensational LM P2 victory.
The reigning Le Mans 24 Hour LM P2 champions who recently conquered the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (2 May), will take part in the official Test Day at Le Mans on 31 May with this year’s twice-around-the-clock race staged over 13-14 June. JOTA Sport’s next race is the second round of the European Le Mans Series at Imola on 17 May. Having finished a close second in the opening ELMS race at Silverstone last month (11 Apr), Dolan, Tincknell and Filipe Albuquerque will be out to repeat last year’s pole-position, race win and race fastest lap the trio achieved in the corresponding Italian race. Tincknell and Albuquerque, who partner Dolan in all of the ELMS races this year as in 2014, are unavailable for Le Mans due to their Nissan NISMO and Audi Sport “factory” commitments respectively.
Simon Dolan (GB). Age 45. Born: Chelmsford, Essex. Lives: Monaco (MC):
“It’ll be great to have Ollie on board again for Le Mans. He’s proven to be very quick, very safe and a consummate team player. I am very much looking forward to challenging for the win again with him and Mitch this year.”
Oliver Turvey (GB). Age 28. Born & Lives: Penrith, Cumbria.
“I am absolutely delighted to be returning to the Le Mans 24 Hours with JOTA Sport and to be able to defend our LM P2 win from last year! JOTA are a great bunch of guys and a team that I feel at home with. Le Mans is a phenomenal race that I fell in love with on my first attempt and one that I want to win outright one day. Last year of course was very special for me, ending up on the top step of the podium after a last-minute call up was an amazing feeling and a great moment in my career.
“This year I’ll have a little more time to prepare and aim for my second win at Le Mans. I’ve yet to test the Gibson and in fact I haven’t driven an LM P2 sportscar since crossing the finish line at Le Mans last year. I have heard positive feedback on the Gibson chassis for this year and can’t wait to get into the car at the Le Mans test day which will be my only opportunity to test ahead of the race week – but then that’ll be more than I had last year!
“I am confident that JOTA Sport will give me a competitive car. There is a great team spirit there that I am sure will allow us to challenge for the win. We have a strong driver line-up and it’ll be fantastic to drive again with my Le Mans winning teammate Simon [Dolan] while I am also looking forward to having Mitch [Evans] as a team-mate. I am racing in the Japanese Super GT with Drago Modulo Honda Racing in 2015 alongside my Formula One Test & Development driver role with McLaren-Honda. I am very grateful for the support of both Honda and McLaren, and I would like to thank them for allowing me to compete at Le Mans. I hope that I will be able to repay their faith in me with another win!”
Mitch Evans (NZ). Age: 20. Born: Auckland, New Zealand. Lives: Aylesbury, Bucks, UK:
“I am really excited to have Oliver with us for the LM24 – JOTA has done a great job in a short space of time on filling the vacant seat with a really strong driver. I’m sure Oliver will help me along the way and get me up to speed around Le Mans. I haven’t raced with or against him before so I am really looking forward to partnering with him for the 24 hours.”
Sam Hignett. Partner, JOTA Group:
“Oliver showed his true quality last year with his performance following a 48hr call up. This year we have given him 2 months to prepare so we are expecting spectacular things!”