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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

“Nice shock” to land Jota WEC drive after IndyCar exit

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The Briton will be a part of Norman Nato and Will Stevens in Jota’s #12 Porsche 963 because the Hertz-backed operation expands to 2 Hypercar entries. Jenson Button, the 2009 Method 1 world champion, will be a part of the #38 crew alongside Phil Hanson and Oliver Rasmussen.

Talking on stage on the Autosport International Present on Saturday, Ilott admitted he had been anticipating to stay with Juncos Hollinger for a 3rd full season with the squad he joined for the ultimate three rounds of the 2021 marketing campaign, however welcomed the prospect to revisit a sportscar profession that started promisingly in Ferrari GT equipment the identical 12 months.

Juncos Hollinger introduced in October that Ilott would cut up from the group and revealed its signing of Romain Grosjean a couple of days later, however Ilott revealed {that a} deal had been executed shortly after the ultimate spherical of the 2023 WEC in Bahrain.

“It’s truthfully fairly an amazing shock,” mentioned Ilott, who was joined on stage by Jota group boss Sam Hignett.

“I used to be anticipating to remain in IndyCar, that was the unique plan, and circumstances modified as they often do in life.

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“We’d reached out to Sam to see what was happening, what the state of affairs was and immediately, I believe you had been fairly eager.

“You needed to go to Bahrain to do the ultimate race and have a few discussions about what their plan was basically.

“And straight after Bahrain I bought phrase again that we must always have a dialogue and I believe from there it was fairly plain crusing and we moved ahead shortly.

“I’m actually grateful for it and to be truthful it’s a ravishing automobile in a ravishing championship and I believe now we have plenty of potential to do an amazing job.”

Picture by: Shameem Fahath

#38 Hertz Crew JOTA Porsche 963 : Antonio Felix Da Costa, Will Stevens, Yifei Ye

Hignett mentioned Jota had assumed Ilott “would go to Ferrari with the manufacturing unit group” in Hypercar earlier than he made the swap to IndyCar, however had stored tabs on him in the course of the intervening years.

“When the chance got here as much as converse to Callum and we had a seat open up in what’s now going to be the #12 automobile, it made full sense to offer Callum a name and see if we might get a deal executed,” he mentioned.

“I’ve to say hats off to Callum and your administration, it’s the simplest deal I’ve ever executed.”

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Ilott has already pushed the 963 in Qatar, which is able to open the 2024 WEC calendar on 2 March, and remarked that he was impressed by its versatility and complexity.

“I had a little bit go in Qatar a few month or two in the past and what a beast,” he mentioned.

“It’s virtually like an all-terrain, on-track car, you’ll be able to simply go over something you want. To a restrict!

“In comparison with what I’m used to, it’s so versatile.

“Fairly robust to drive in a means as a result of it’s fairly heavy, however with the hybrid unit, the facility, it’s stunning.

“It’s complicated, a bit just like the F1 in the way in which that it’s re-genning and deploying and what you’ve bought to handle as a driver, however it’s a tremendous automobile to get into.”

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