British motor racing team, JOTA Sport, has announced it is to field the G-Drive Racing entry from this season. Following a new sponsorship deal with the Russian team, which is to span twelve months, Gazprom Neft take on the naming rights for JOTA Sport and will field entries in both the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Both cars owned and raced by JOTA Sport will be re-liveried in line with the G-Drive Racing brand while, as title sponsor, Gazprom Neft will also maintain a trackside presence alongside the wider JOTA Sport team at each event in the 2016 calendar.
The team has already confirmed its driver line-up, with the ELMS roster include JOTA Sport co-founder Simon Dolan, former Caterham Formula One driver Giedo van der Garde, whilst the third seat will be shared by young British drivers Harry Tincknell and Jake Dennis.
The drivers confirmed to compete in the WEC, meanwhile, are Russian-born Roman Rusinov who will defend his 2015 LMP2 title, alongside former Formula E racer Nathanael Berthon. The team’s third driver is yet to be announced.
“2016 is an incredibly important year for JOTA Sport, one which will see our operation essentially double in size, as we not only take on the European Le Mans Series once again but also set our sights on the FIA World Endurance Championship,” explained Sam Hignett, team principal at JOTA Sport. “In order to successfully compete in both major competitions, we have significantly increased the size of our team, invested in a vast amount of new equipment and, ultimately, dramatically increased our capacity as a commercial sports operation”.
“Following the successful season and recognizing the rapidly growing interest in FIA WEC, we again choose that format this year,” added Alexander Krylov, JSC Gazprom Neft regional sales director and project manager for G-Drive Racing. “The season’s pecking order and participation in two series simultaneously – FIA WEC and ELMS – doubles the team’s chances to win the season’s main race – Le Mans 24 Hours.”