Motorsport: Jota’s podium finish sets stage for Le Mans 24

Calverley House

JOTA sport celebrated its second podium finish in as many races at the six hours of Spa in Belgium in the second round of the World Endurance Championship. 

Despite technical difficulties in qualifying resulting in both cars starting near the back of the grid, the team – which runs the cars on behalf of Jackie Chan DC Racing – clinched third place in its LMP2 class.

The ‘Mighty 38’ car driven by Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent found itself in second place with just half an hour to go but couldn’t hold on to it after a fierce battle with the 31 Rebellion.

The 37 car of David Cheng, Alex Brundle and Tristan Gommendy was also in contention and even led the pack at the halfway stage. But after a spin and an extended pit stop it fell back to tenth place.

The third place was enough to maintain the team’s class lead in the championship at this early stage of the season. In a sign of what is shaping up to be a competitive season, the winner was last year’s Jota Sport partner G-Drive. 

The Principle and founder of the Frant-based team, Sam Hignett, said he was ‘pleased’ with the result.

He added: “It was a tough race. We struggled during qualifying to find our pace, which resulted in both cars starting near the back of the grid. 

“However, both sets of drivers pushed hard and made up ground and it is just unfortunate the number 37 was unable to maintain its lead. But the pit crew did an excellent job at getting it back out on to the track.

“Overall, we knew it would be a hard race and we have learned valuable lessons ahead of the coming the 24 hours of Le Mans, which is the main prize.”

The prestigious French race will be held on June 17-18.  

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