JOTA Sport are aiming to take the honours in LMP2 at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with team owner and driver Simon Dolan looking forward to returning to the track with a ‘incredible atmosphere.‘
Dolan, who has raced at La Sarthe three times, will team up with regular JOTA driver Harry Tincknell and Spanish ace Marc Gene for the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic, with the trio aiming for a podium at the very least, with the team coming to Le Mans after claiming the race victory at the Four Hours of Imola.
“I’m aiming for a podium at the very least,” said Dolan. “I think we have the car, the team and the overall pace to make a really great challenge. A win is possible with just a little luck. We’ve had some pretty awful luck at Le Mans over the past three years, so maybe we are due some.
“The atmosphere is incredible – with over a quarter of a million people watching you do your thing is pretty potent. As a race, it is the sheer challenge – for the individual, the team, the car – everything and everyone has to work perfectly for 24 hours which is what makes it so hard to win, and therefore so addictive.
“The worst scenario is when something happens outside of your control which you know there and then means the chance of a decent result is over. The whole year builds up to this one race with so many people working very hard, that’s when it’s pretty tough to take.
“Whilst the Le Mans circuit is long, it isn’t physically too punishing. You spend about 70% of the time on full throttle, so there is a time to ‘rest’. That said, it is pretty hard to get woken up at 2am, for example, to do a three hour stint behind the wheel in the cold and pitch dark!”
Tincknell, who is making his Le Mans debut this year, is also making the podium his minum target, saying: “My aim is a podium and we’ll give it everything for sure – we have a realistic chance of scoring a LM P2 class victory. Simon [Dolan] was very fast there last year while Marc [Gené] is a former winner and needs no introduction.
“I’ve raced previously in France but hadn’t set foot in Le Mans until the official test this weekend [30 May-1 June]. I’ve always been interested in Le Mans, especially from when Bentley won  and obviously that interest intensified since I started working with Allan McNish in 2009, himself a three-time Le Mans winner.
“Le Mans is legendary. A fantastic circuit that provides great racing, a party atmosphere amongst the fans, and the fact that it’s the biggest motor race in the world. I drove on the track for the very first time last Sunday, completing my mandatory 10-laps during the morning session and ended up second fastest, so I was very happy with that. Unfortunately I didn’t get many laps in during the afternoon session after Simon’s puncture. But I completed 18-laps in total and I was happy with my pace.”
The 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours week gets under way on Wednesday with Free Practice, with qualifying getting underway on Thursday.