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JOTA closing on deal to run second Porsche LMDh in WEC 2024

JOTA is closing on a deal to run a second Porsche 963 LMDh in the Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship next season.

#38 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963 : Antonio Felix Da Costa, Will Stevens, Yifei Ye

The team has never made any secret of its desire to field an additional 963 in 2024 in the same 'Hertz Racing Gold' livery as the car that made its debut at the Spa WEC round this year and has now revealed that an order has already been placed for the extra chassis.

JOTA boss Sam Hignett explained that the team is "making good progress" on the funding necessary to run the car in a full WEC programme.

"We're getting into the commercial package that we need to make the second car happen," Hignett told Motorsport.com.

"We're not there yet, but we are confident that we will get it across the line. The plan is for it to be a two-car Hertz Team JOTA entry next season."

Hignett would not be drawn on the line-up in the additional car, though he reiterated that JOTA's programme does not require funded drivers.

"We will be picking the drivers in the same way as we did with the first car and we already have some names in mind," he explained.

On the confirmation of this year's line-up of Antonio Felix da Costa, Will Stevens and Yifei Ye, Hignett said: "We've ranked the best drivers in LMP2 over the past three years, and we've got three of the top five in our car."

Ex-Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica, who is racing with WRT In LMP2 in the WEC this year, is known to be one driver in discussions with JOTA about 2024.

JOTA could take delivery of its new 963 in November; Hignett is expecting the car to be finished just after the 2023 Bahrain WEC finale.

#38 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963 : Antonio Felix Da Costa, Will Stevens, Yifei Ye

#38 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963 : Antonio Felix Da Costa, Will Stevens, Yifei Ye

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

The German Proton team also has aspirations to expand its programme with the 963, which this year incorporates one car in Hypercar in the WEC and one in the GTP class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

A second car in WEC appears most likely at the moment, though team boss Christian Ried insisted last weekend at the Fuji WEC round that no decisions had been made about its 2024 programmes ahead of the publication of the European Le Mans Series calendar this week.

"We need to see the calendars and understand how many clashes there are before we can make our plans," said Ried, whose team is also represented in this year's ELMS with a trio of Porsche 911 RSR-19s in GTE and a single LMP2 ORECA 07.

"The IMSA calendar had a few surprises [two clashes between IMSA GTP rounds and the WEC ], which makes it very complicated."

Porsche has not put a number on how many customer 963s it will make available for 2024

Thomas Laudenbach, motorsport boss at Porsche, said: "It is not about selling the cars, it is about providing the service.

"We could sell a lot more cars, but we have a clear philosophy: if we sell a car we want to make sure it races properly and that means you need the support behind it."

Four cars, two each in WEC and IMSA, have been released to privateer teams over the course of the 2023 season.

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