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JOTA Sport announces today the signing of ex-F1 driver Giedo van der Garde to race for the team in the 2016 European Le Mans Series (ELMS).

The Dutch driver, who competed in 19 Grand Prix with the Caterham F1 Team in 2013, will make his endurance racing debut at the first round of the ELMS, at Silverstone on April 16.

Van der Garde, 30, will partner JOTA Sport regular drivers Simon Dolan and another soon to be named driver in the JOTA Sport Gibson 015S-Nissan which finished a close runner-up in the 2015 ELMS.

As well as a full campaign in the ELMS, Van der Garde will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut in June.

In addition to the ELMS season and Le Mans, Van der Garde will also compete at the second FIA WEC round at Spa in May, sharing the Gibson 015S with Simon Dolan and Jake Dennis at the circuit where the team has won two previous LMP2 classes – in 2012 and 2015.

Bringing a wealth of racing experience to his new role in endurance racing, Van der Garde has an impressive racing record, including becoming World Karting Champion in 2002 and clinching the Formula Renault 3.5 title in 2008.

The signing of Van der Garde to its ELMS team will strengthen JOTA Sport’s quest to capture the European Le Mans Series in 2016. Jota is one of the most successful LMP2 teams in the ELMS, with three race victories and twelve pole positions.

As well as a full ELMS campaign in 2016, JOTA Sport will also compete in a full season of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the first time. A new ORECA 05 LMP2 chassis has been acquired and is being readied for its first runs ahead of the official FIA WEC Prologue test in March. Drivers for this team will be announced in due course.

Van der Garde will shortly get his first seat time in the Jota Sport Gibson 015S, ahead of the official ELMS test at Paul Ricard 29-30 March.


Giedo van der Garde, JOTA Sport driver
“In F1 I was competing in the highest level of motorsport, but with Caterham there wasn’t a real possibility to win races. Now with JOTA there is, and again at a high level of racing. That’s what I’m aiming for: winning. To win the 24 hours of Le Mans isn’t even a dream; it’s my goal. Therefore I am very pleased to sign with such an established and proven team as JOTA Sport. This is a new chapter for me going in to endurance racing and I am sure it will be an enjoyable one. I have always enjoyed the teamwork side of racing, particularly from an engineering perspective, so I think this will be an asset to start with.

“Endurance racing has so much momentum at the present time and after some time away from the cockpit last season I could appreciate the levels to which it has grown. To make my debut with JOTA Sport this season is a very good start to the year. I’ll do my utmost to be successful for JOTA during ELMS, but also in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, one of the biggest events in racing. It is a huge challenge, but a dream comes true. I can’t wait to go flat out.” 

Simon Dolan, Partner/Driver JOTA Sport
“I am very much looking forward to sharing a car with Giedo this season. He has a very strong pedigree in racing and I am sure he will be a great asset to the team. From what I have heard he has already made a good impression at the workshop and it is evident he is hungry to forge a good career in endurance racing.

“2016 is a big year for JOTA Sport with an expanded program, so there is a lot of hard work to come, but also a lot to look forward to. We cannot wait to get started.”

Sam Hignett, Partner – JOTA Sport
“It is a pleasure to welcome a driver of Giedo’s calibre to JOTA Sport as he has a proven track record in whatever he has competed in. He will mirror the dedication and professionalism of the team perfectly.

“We have been talking together for a while on introducing Giedo to endurance racing and I am delighted that we can now work together, on what I am sure will be a fruitful and long-term partnership. He has all the attributes to continue his success from single-seaters to sportscars and we are looking forward to working with him.”


Factfile on Giedo van der Garde

Nationality: Dutch
DOB: 25/04/1985
1998 – Dutch Karting champion
2002 – World Karting champion
2003 – Formula Renault 2-litre; selected for Renault Young Driver Programme
2004-2006 – FIA Formula Three (Van Amersfort, Team Rosberg,ASM)
2008 – Formula Renault 3.5 Champion with P1 Motorsport; 5 wins
2009-12 – GP2 (I-Sport, Barwa Addax, Caterham) – 5 wins
2013 – Formula One with Caterham – 19 Grand Prix starts
2014 – Formula One test driver with Sauber
2016 – ELMS , Spa WEC and Le Mans with JOTA


  Photography credit :Jakob Ebrey 

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