Dolan, Tincknell and Albuquerque on maximum attack at Paul Ricard
JOTA Sport is in attack mode for a maximum points haul at Paul Ricard next Sunday (14 Sep) which would earn the British team the lead in the European Le Mans Series.
The reigning Le Mans 24 Hour race LM P2 category champions have placed first (Imola) and second (Red Bull Ring) in the last two ELMS races which leaves the team and drivers Simon Dolan, Harry Tincknell and Filipe Albuquerque placed second – just four points off the lead in the standings.
The 3.6-mile Paul Ricard track at Le Castellet near Marseille in Southern France is the penultimate round of the five-race ELMS competition.
In last year’s corresponding Ricard race, JOTA started from pole-position and finished third with its Dunlop-shod Zytek-Nissan which has proven ultra-competitive again this season.
The Four Hours of Paul Ricard is scheduled to start at 12noon (BST) on Sunday. Two free practice sessions are held on Saturday with the 20mins qualifying session for the expected near 40-car grid on Sunday morning (8.30am BST) – the JOTA Zytek bidding to maintain its 100% record of starting this year’s ELMS races from pole-position.
Simon Dolan (GB). Age 45. Born: Chelmsford, Essex. Lives: Monaco (MC): “I’ve raced at Ricard quite a few times now and have also been at the official ELMS test there every season so it’s a track I know quite well and one which I really enjoy, mainly due to the insanely fast Signes corner at the end of the main straight.
“I’ve had a couple of podiums there in the VdV series and of course our third place in ELMS last year. Because of the long Mistral straight it isn’t a particularly physically difficult track, but the high-speed and technical elements keeps a driver on his toes and thinking. We will be in full out attack mode.”
Harry Tincknell (GB). Age: 22. Born: Exeter, Devon. Lives: Sidmouth, Devon (GB): “I’ve raced at Ricard twice previously, once in SpeedEuroseries in 2011 and also in Formula Three the same year but was there with JOTA at the beginning of this year for the ELMS test.
“While it’s physically quite easy, it’s pretty tough mentally because there are many long corners where you can't see the apexes so you are constantly looking much further ahead then you would on other tracks. The key to a good lap is to hook up the final sector.
"We’ll be on maximum attack, just like at Imola and the Red Bull Ring. We’ll have a good crack at going for ‘pole’ again and then we’ll be pushing as hard as possible in the race.”
Filipe Albuquerque (P). Age 29. Born & Lives: Coimbra (P): “I’ve never raced at Paul Ricard but have tested there many times so I am not worried about my lack of race experience. I am very confident that our Zytek will again be on top in qualifying.
“We are entering the stage in the championship when any small mistake could cost us challenging for the title in my ‘home’ race at Estoril. We must push on hard and attack but avoiding any mistakes.”
Sam Hignett. Partner, JOTA Group: “I think we can maintain our 100% record of starting this year’s ELMS races from ‘pole’ and make it four out of four in France. Although nothing will be new on the Zytek, we’ve been working hard on improving our race pace, testing at the Lausitzring in Germany last week.
“JOTA Sport has raced, and tested of course, at Ricard a number of times. We competed in VdV races while this will be our fourth consecutive ELMS race there. We raced an Aston Martin in 2011 but was caught up in a start line accident before recording a ninth and third with the Zytek over the past two years.”