Jota decides against defending ELMS title in 2017

The British Jota Sport team will not defend its European Le Mans Series crown after the retirement of long-time driver Simon Dolan

Jota decides against defending ELMS title in 2017

The British Jota Sport team will not defend its European Le Mans Series crown after long-time driver Simon Dolan stepped down.

The 47-year-old entrepreneur has decided not to continue full-time in sportscars following his ELMS victory last season with Harry Tincknell and Giedo van der Garde after near-misses in the previous three seasons.

The move means that Jota has no plans to continue in the ELMS and is now focussing on a two-car LMP2 campaign in the World Endurance Championship.

Jota boss Sam Hignett told Autosport: "Simon has done a lot, spent a lot and achieved what he wanted to.

"He's won the ELMS title and his class at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and there is no interest on his part in doing the WEC."

Dolan finished second in the ELMS in 2014 and third in 2013 and '15, in addition to claiming LMP2 class honours at Le Mans in '14.

Hignett stressed that Dolan would remain a partner in the Jota's racing and engineering divisions.

Jota has been unable to confirm its WEC plans, but it is understood that it will field a solo ORECA-Gibson 07.

The team has ended its association with Russian entrant G-Drive Racing and Roman Rusinov, which are linking up with the French TDS Racing squad in 2017.

TDS should have two ORECAs on the Le Mans entry list when it is published tomorrow (Thursday).

Rusinov will join up with former ELMS champion Pierre Thiriet, while WEC GTE Am champion Francois Perrodo is moving up to P2 with the team.

DID YOU KNOW...

Dolan raced the same chassis in all bar one of LMP2 races he contested in 2012-16.

The Briton raced a Zytek-Nissan Z11SN, chassis #9, through the 2012 and '13 seasons before switching to a second chassis originally bought as a spare.

This car - chassis #10 - was written off when Dolan crashed on the exit of Chapel Curve at the 2014 Silverstone ELMS opener, which meant the original monocoque had to be 'unretired'.

Dolan continued to race this car, which became known as a Gibson 015S from the 2015 season, until the end of last season.

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