Stoffel Vandoorne joins LMP2 squad Jota Sport to contest 2021 WEC

Mercedes Formula E racer Stoffel Vandoorne will return to the FIA World Endurance Championship this year as he spearheads Jota Sport's assault on the LMP2 category

Stoffel Vandoorne joins LMP2 squad Jota Sport to contest 2021 WEC

The 2019-20 FE runner-up will join Formula 2 convert Sean Gelael and sportscar regular Tom Blomqvist at the wheel of Jota's ORECA 07, with the trio also contesting the upcoming Asian Le Mans Series season.

Both Vandoorne and Blomqvist will dovetail the 2021 WEC campaign, due to begin at Sebring in March, with their commitments for Mercedes and NIO 333 in FE.

For Vandoorne, it will mark a return to the series after he made two starts for the SMP Racing LMP1 team in 2019 in place of his former McLaren Formula 1 team-mate Jenson Button, which culminated in a third-place finish in that year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

"It will be really good to combine this programme together with my Formula E campaign in 2021 so I am really looking forward to getting started," Vandoorne said.

"To be to be in the WEC with Jota is great because they are such an established and respected team in a super competitive environment, which is obviously something I always look to be involved in.

"To be able to do it together with Sean and Tom is great as well, because they're two of my great racing friends."

Gelael meanwhile makes the switch to sportscar racing full-time after a long career in the junior single-seater ranks, having been a fixture of GP2/F2 since 2015. In that time he scored two podium finishes and a best championship position of 15th.

The Indonesian made three WEC starts in late 2016 for the now-defunct Extreme Speed Motorsports LMP2 squad in a previous-generation Ligier JS P2, sharing a car with current Alfa Romeo F1 driver Antonio Giovinazzi in two of those outings.

Blomqvist partnered Gelael and Giovinazzi to finish second in the LMP2 class at Shanghai (above) before making three more outings in the GTE Pro class in 2018 as a factory BMW driver.

Jota co-owner David Clark said: "We are really excited to confirm Sean, Tom and Stoffel's programmes for 2021 and are looking forward to challenging for wins and the LMP2 title.

"The quality of this trio is another great statement of intent from us all at Jota.

"I'd like to thank all three for showing such great foresight and commitment in getting this plan together and we look forward to some great action and top results across the world in 2021."

Gelael will run all four races of the Asian Le Mans Series season, which will comprise two pairs of four-hour races staged on a variety of layouts at Abu Dhabi. Vandoorne will join Gelael for the first two races, with Blomqvist taking over for the latter two.

Jota is understood to still be working on plans to field a two-car LMP2 entry in the WEC, but its association with Jackie Chan DC Racing will not continue.

shares
comments
Joest Racing teams up with Glickenhaus for WEC Hypercar project

Previous article

Joest Racing teams up with Glickenhaus for WEC Hypercar project

Next article

Toyota drivers wary "politics" will determine Alpine battle in 2021 WEC

Toyota drivers wary "politics" will determine Alpine battle in 2021 WEC
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Teams TF Sport , Jota Sport
Author Jamie Klein
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021
Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship Plus

Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship

Beyond the slender grid of headline-grabbing hypercars, there are numerous subplots and changes to look out for in the new season of the WEC, which gets underway at Spa this weekend. Here's the seven key things you need to know about

WEC
Apr 30, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Plus

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Plus

How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no works Aston Martins in the GTE-Pro class. As its new era in Formula 1 begins, Aston leaves behind a legacy of success courtesy of its Prodrive-run factory programme that was a hit from the word go in 2005

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021