JOTA Sport say they are in a ‘buoyant’ mood ahead of the 2014 European Le Mans Series season after last week’s test at Paul Ricard.
The team, which clocked over 1000 miles at the two-day test, will run Filipe Albuquerque, Simon Dolan, Marc Gené and Harry Tincknell this season in the ELMS, with Dolan, Gené and Ticknell running for the team at Le Mans when Albuquerque returns to parent team Audi.
“We began on Le Mans driver combination seat fit as well as driver comfort and familiarisation for Marc then worked on car set-up concentrating on drivability as opposed to outright pace,” explains Sam Hignett, Partner of the JOTA Group. “It was great to have all four drivers in the car and to learn from the enormous experience that Marc brings. Between now and Silverstone there is a lot of car ‘prep’ to be done as well as more and more pit stop practice for the guys.”
Albuquerque, who set the No.38 Zytek Z11SN’s best time of 1:50.099 on the first day of the test, said: “It was a good test, we went through a set programme and everyone wanted the same thing from the car. We all completed many laps and that was good to gain a rhythm. It’s always hard to talk about lap times and to do a fair comparison because we don’t know what our competitors were doing.
“We come away from Ricard happy with our work and ready for Silverstone. I think we have a good trio of drivers for ELMS in Simon, Harry and myself and that’s going to be very important in races of four hour duration. It was also fantastic to have Marc present at Ricard bringing his experience.”
Dolman also commented on the test, saying: “From my perspective the test was very productive, if not a little challenging at times. The track seemed to have a mind of its own, conditions changing drastically overnight for no apparent reason, which made set-up work difficult.
“Marc fitted in perfectly to the team, a lovely guy and a consummate professional as we’d expected. We all had at least 40 laps in the car on the first day and were within 0.3s of one another, so that bodes well for our first race at Silverstone, and of course for Le Mans, which always rewards consistency.”
The 2014 ELMS season gets underway at Silverstone on April 19, with 42 cars due to hit the Northamptonshire track for the Four Hours of Silverstone.