Jota Sport will expand its current sports prototype base with an assault on the FIA World Endurance Championship next year.
The British team has confirmed that it will use a Nissan-powered ORECA 05 chassis in a full season LMP2 program in 2016, which will include the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In tandem with its FIA WEC effort, Jota Sport will continue to campaign a Gibson 015S Nissan in the European Le Mans Series.
“This announcement marks a very exciting era for Jota Sport,” said team partner Sam Hignett. “We’re very much looking forward to working closely with Hugues de Chaunac’s ORECA operation and of course racing its fabulous 05 or 06 Coupe which pipped us to LMP2 class honours at Le Mans this year.”
Jota Sport does have history in the FIA World Endurance Championship, having won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2014 against WEC opposition. It has also entered the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps every year since the championship’s inception three years ago, winning the event in 2012 and 2015.
“I am obviously very excited for Jota Sport to be competing in the 2016 WEC,” said team owner and driver Simon Dolan. “We have proven over the last three years with our FIA WEC wins at Le Mans and Spa that we will be immediately fighting for race wins while the LMP2 championship title is definitely our aim and within our grasp.”
“We have been looking very closely at various chassis’ and I’m delighted to announce our partnership with ORECA. I am confident that we have chosen the best chassis for 2016 and beyond into the new regulations.”
The ORECA 05 is the French manufacturer’s latest LMP2 creation, and is designed to follow closely the new class regulations that will come into effect in 2017. Despite being in its first year the ORECA 05 has already gained a large amount of success, including victories at the Le Mans and Nurburgring FIA WEC rounds under Chinese outfit KCMG.
“To work with such a squad, for us as a manufacturer, is very exciting,” added Group ORECA president Hughes de Chaunac. “I’ve had discussions with Jota Sport in the past and I’m happy these have now turned into a great project. We’re looking forward to taking up interesting challenges together and I’m convinced that the Jota Sport and ORECA 05 combination will impress.”
Drivers for the 2016 season will be confirmed in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Jota Sport will return to the track this weekend to defend its slim ELMS championship lead at Paul Ricard. The Gibson 015S line-up of Dolan, Harry Tincknell and Filipe Albuquerque sits just two points ahead of the Thiriet by TDS Racing squad, which enters an Oreca 05.