Callum Ilott Secures Podium Finish in Hypercar Debut with Hertz Team JOTA

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Credit: Porsche AG

In a stunning debut performance, Callum Ilott clinched second place at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, marking his first outing with Hertz Team JOTA in the Hypercar category.

The near-1,200-mile race, illuminated by the glow of floodlights in its final stages, saw Ilott, alongside teammates Will Stevens and Norman Nato, secure not only the team’s inaugural Hypercar podium but also an 11-point lead in the FIA World Cup for Hypercar Teams.

The #12 Porsche 963, piloted by the talented trio, remained in podium contention throughout the grueling 10-hour race, showcasing impressive consistency and pace against formidable competition.

Reflecting on the achievement, Ilott expressed his elation at the strong start to the season, emphasizing the significance of securing the lead in the FIA World Cup standings for Hypercar Teams. He commended the exceptional efforts of Hertz Team JOTA, highlighting the seamless transition into the Hypercar category and praising the performance of his teammates.

Ilott said, “What a start to the year! I’m delighted with second place overall and the first ‘privateer’ team home which gives us the lead in the FIA World Cup for Hypercar Teams standings. Hertz Team JOTA did an amazing job and the team was incredible to work with. They made it super easy for me on my Hypercar debut as did my team-mates Norman [Nato] and Will [Stevens] who were both fast and did solid jobs.”

Ilott credited the team’s meticulous preparation during the offseason, noting the impressive pace demonstrated from the outset of practice sessions. Despite it being his first qualifying session in the hypercar category, Ilott secured a second-row starting position, showcasing his adaptability and potential in the competitive field.

Throughout the demanding race, Ilott and his teammates executed a strategic approach, opting for extended stints and minimizing errors to maximize their performance on track. Their efforts paid dividends as they steadily closed the gap to their rivals, ultimately capitalizing on a critical moment in the closing laps to secure the second position.

Ilott added, “It was a very, very long race and we battled hard. We made no mistakes, had solid pace and undertook a different strategy to our rivals – trying to extend our stints and it paid off. We all kept chipping away and, ultimately, after great strategy and team-work, I was catching the second-placed car in the closing laps. Unfortunately for them, their car stopped on the penultimate lap.”

Looking ahead to the next challenge at Imola in Italy on April 19th, Ilott expressed confidence in the team’s capabilities and his familiarity with the circuit. With determination and focus, they aim to extend their lead in the championship standings, building upon their impressive debut performance in Qatar.

As the Hypercar season unfolds, all eyes will be on Callum Ilott and Hertz Team JOTA as they continue to make their mark on the prestigious motorsport stage.

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Founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Checkered Flag who grew up visiting race circuits around the UK also a freelance motorsport PR officer. Outside of motorsport a lover of music, photography, NBA and NFL.
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