24-year old, Jody Fannin, 2017 European Le Mans Series LMGTE champion in the #66 JMW Motorsports Ferrari F488 GTE he shared with Rob Smith, is clear about his objectives for the new season – he wants to defend his title and be on the grid for 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Speaking at Autosport 2018, Fannin was clear that to return to the European stage with JMW Motorsport would his preferred route.
“That would be the ideal plan,” said the South Godstone, Surrey-based driver. “Hopefully defend the title in the ELMS and mavbe do the Le Mans 24 Hours as well. To stay with JMW Motorsport would be perfect. It’s such a perfect team. The support you get from Ferrari is brilliant If you need anything, they’re always there straight away.”
“It’s a brilliant brand to be aligned with as a customer because everyone gets treated the same. Going into the championship against other Ferraris, everyone gets the same support and if a Ferrari wins that’s the main thing. So ideally it’s the same again. And hopefully next year Le Mans would be perfect”
Driving for a championship-winning Ferrari customer team is the perfect place for the young British driver to be.
“Yes, it’s not a bad place to be. The Ferrari is such a mythical name and everyone would like to be associated with it. And with the success last year with JMW Motorsport, a customer team, it’s, I hope, put me on the radar a bit. As manufacturers it doesn’t get much better than to be with Ferrari and all its history and heritage.”
Fannin is perhaps one of the first of a new generation of drivers for whom GT racing was their first choice and who decided not to pursue the single-seater route.
“I’ve been to watch the Le Mans 24 Hours every year since I was seven, apart from one year when I was racing so I couldn’t go, so that always been the aim for me,” said Fannin. “It was a conscious choice to go into GTs from karting. Of course Formula 1 – it would be lovely to get there but realistically without a hell of a lot of backing, it’s not going to happen. With sportscars you’ve got a realistic chance of making a career out of it. That’s the option I went for and it’s starting to pay off. Hopefully I’ll have much more success in the future.”
The 2018 European Le Mans Series opens with The 4 Hours of Le Castellet on April 13 – 15.