British outfit JOTA has signed Stoffel Vandoorne, Sean Gelael and Tom Blomqvist to be part of its two-car effort for the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship.
The 2020 WEC LMP2 runner-up will field two ORECA 07-Gibsons in the WEC this season, with Vandoorne, Gelael and Blomqvist forming a full-season line-up for one of the two cars.
Additionally, the trio will enter the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series, with Gelael partnering Vandoorne for the opening two rounds and teaming up with Blomqvist for the final two races, all of which are held at Yas Marina.
Vandoorne, 28, wil combine the WEC season with his efforts for Mercedes in Formula E. The Belgian returns to the WEC for the first time since 2019, when he joined SMP Racing for the final two rounds of the 2018/19 Super Season.
“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 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 has spent the past few years racing in Formula 2, but has some sportscar experience. He took race wins in the Asian Le Mans Series alongside current Alfa Romeo F1 driver Antonio Giovinazzi and raced in the WEC in 2016, notably pairing with Blomqvist en route to a podium finish in Shanghai.
“I’m super excited for 2021,” said Gelael. “JOTA is an incredible team with an amazing resume of drivers and accomplishments.”
“I am happy that I can be part of a great history and hopefully this year I can produce the same results they are having in previous years. I hope myself, Tom and Stoffel can do something special this year and we could keep the JOTA name in the winning way as always.
“They have great team owners, a great team manager, engineers and mechanics, so I am super excited and can’t wait to see the season start. I hope we can give our best and show our true potential.”
Blomqvist, meanwhile, has become well established in sportscar racing following a tenure as BMW factory driver, which saw him race in WEC, DTM and IMSA, as well as winning the Spa 24 Hours in 2018. Like Vandoorne, he will combine his WEC efforts with a programme in Formula E, racing for the NIO333 team.
Firstly, it’s exciting to get back together with Sean for an attack on an LMP2 title,” said Blomqvist. “We had a brief taste of it together in 2016, the last time I drove an LMP2 car.
“We’re going to have a strong driver line-up and we’re with a great team in JOTA, so it’s going to be a fun and hopefully successful year. The way the class is shaping up to be in the future I think it’s a great place to be from a career perspective.”
“I’d like to say a big thanks to the Gelael family for once again putting their trust in me and also to JOTA for the opportunity to join a top team alongside Stoffel too.”
JOTA finished runner-up in the LMP2 standings in the 2019/20 WEC season. behind United Autosports, claiming a win in Shanghai along the way. According to team co-owner David Clarkjames, the new line-up is a statement of intent for the team’s 2021 plans.
“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,” Clark said. “The quality of this trio is another great statement of intent from us all at JOTA.”
“Sean has been a mainstay in top level racing now for several years and is clearly a dedicated and impressive professional.”
“I’ve followed Tom’s career over the years and it is clear he is a winner and someone who will bring excellence to the cockpit and a lot of other areas.”
“Stoffel’s achievements need little introduction and it will be fantastic to work with him over the course of the year.”
“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.”
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