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Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans

Jota forced into chassis change after Ilott's Le Mans FP2 crash

Jota Sport will change the chassis on the #12 Porsche 963 LMDh following a hefty crash for Callum Ilott in the second practice for the Le Mans 24 Hours.

With just minutes to go during the two-hour night practice at the Circuit de la Sarthe on Wednesday, Ilott suffered a major shunt at the famous Esses between Dunlop and Tetre Rouge, bringing the session to an early end.

Although the TV cameras missed Ilott going off and hitting the barriers, visuals of the aftermath of the crash showed heavy damage to the front of the Porsche, with several marshals arriving at the scene of the incident.

In a statement issued on Thursday morning, Jota revealed that Ilott emerged unscathed from the incident, having already been seen climbing out of the car following the crash.

However, the team also announced that the damage to the car was so severe that it will have to switch to spare chassis ahead of third practice later this afternoon.

“After the accident late last night in Le Mans with Callum Ilot and the #12 Porsche 963 Hypercar, we have been carefully assessing the situation to understand our options for the remainder of the weekend,” said Jota team principal Dieter Gass.

“Most importantly, Callum is unharmed and we’re very grateful for the speedy assistance of the race marshals and medical team. Unfortunately, the monocoque sustained damage so it needs to be replaced.

“This is now our number one priority and the team are working incredibly hard to get the car built up. In parallel we are in constant communication with the ACO and the FIA to make sure that we fulfill all regulatory obligations before being able to communicate our next steps.”

It appears likely that the team will now miss the Hyperpole section of qualifying, which is due to begin at 8pm on Thursday and features the fastest eight cars from each of the three classes. 

There are strict rules regarding the rebuild of cars at Le Mans and the team have stated that it will ensure it is meeting all the requirements set by the series regulators. 

The #12 Jota driven by Ilott had originally missed out on a spot in Hyperpole after setting the ninth-quickest time in Q1, but was elevated after the #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID was knocked out due to Kamui Kobayashi causing a red flag.

This means Ilott and team-mate Will Stevens and Norman Nato will likely start the race from eighth on the grid, while the sister #38 Jota Porsche shared by Jenson Button, Phil Hanson and Oliver Rasmussen will line up 17th.

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