Kent-based JOTA Sport, double winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a team that has stepped on the podium of the great race seven times in seven years, has announced that it will be returning to GT racing with an entry into the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS.
JOTA will campaign a McLaren 720S GT3 to be piloted by an all-factory driver line-up of Ollie Wilkinson, Ben Barnicoat and Rob Bell. Wilkinson becomes a fully-fledged factory for the Woking marque just one year after becoming a Professional Driver with McLaren Customer Racing.
JOTA co-owner David Clark is delighted that the team will be returning to GT racing in its own name after last appearing in the British GT Championship in 2012 with a Mazda MX-5 GT.
“Both McLaren and JOTA have similar DNA in the sense of a great depth of engineering capability and a winning mentality,” said David Clark. “Both my partner, Sam Hignett, and I have worked enormously hard to make JOTA not just a winning team but also a fun one to be around, so I think a collaboration between McLaren and JOTA together with three factory drivers will become a major force in GT racing.
“We are especially pleased to have Ollie Wilkinson in the JOTA team. He’s a talented young driver and we would like to enhance his career in the way we have with Harry Tincknell, Mitch Evans, and Oliver Turvey to name but a few. In fact there are nine JOTA drivers in Formula E and we would like Ollie to be the next JOTA success story.”
McLaren Customer Racing Directr, Ian Morgan is looking forward to the partnership with JOTA.
“It’s tremendously exciting for us to have JOTA onboard for 2021,with three factory drivers involved in the programme,” said Ian Morgan. “The team’s vast experience and success in endurance racing and professionalism will, I’m confident, allow them to compete at the highest level throughout 2021 in the 720S GT3.
“I’m also delighted to see Oliver Wilkinson step up to a full McLaren Factory Driver programme this year, supported by both Rob Bell and Ben Barnicoat, and I look forward to watching his progression.”
The 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS gets underway at Monza on April 16 – 18.