Jota Sport's preparations for the 2014 season have taken a significant step forward today (6th Feburary) following the announcement that British rising star Harry Tincknell will join the team for an assault on two of sportscar racing's greatest prizes.
Sidmouth's 22-year-old Tincknell and Jota Sport regular Simon Dolan will pilot the Kent-based outfit's Zytek-Nissan at all five rounds of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and lead their annual assault on the blue riband Le Mans 24 Hours, where they will look to conquer the ultra-competitive LMP2 category.
"We first made contact with Jota in late 2012 to form an idea of the sportscar landscape, explained Tincknell.
"We then spoke again last summer and completed a tyre test for Dunlop, which went really well. I was surprised by the similarities the Zytek-Nissan shares with an F3, and within four or five laps I felt at home.
"Jota are a very professional operation and that allowed me to work well with them and Simon from the word go. Right away, I felt that this is where I want to be."
While still in his teens, Tincknell stepped up to British Formula 3 in 2011 and enjoyed a race-winning maiden campaign. He returned to the category the following year and claimed four more victories before challenging himself further in 2013 by competing in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship. Again Tincknell shone, scoring race victory in his home event at Silverstone on the way to fifth in the standings.
Tincknell makes the progression to endurance racing in 2014 under the expert guidance of Allan McNish. And the Scot a three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner and reigning FIA World Endurance champion believes Jota Sport is the ideal home for Tincknell.
"Sportscar racing is a natural progression for young drivers, commented McNish. "It requires speed and consistency, both of which Harry undoubtedly has.
"The championships are very strong and, after enjoying some great success in Formula 3, we felt the time was right for him to make this move. Having known Jota Sport for several years and seen their professionalism and progress we believe it's the perfect place for him."
As for Tincknell's debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, 2013 winner McNish offers one sage piece of advice: "Treat it with the greatest of respect."
And in Jota Sport he will have an experienced outfit with which to tackle the twice-around-the-clock classic. The British squad have contested the event in both the prototype and GT ranks, regularly displaying class-leading pace. The team have also shown strongly in the ELMS, scoring victory at Silverstone last season on their way to third in the standings.
"The addition of Harry to our 2014 line-up is great news for Jota Sport, enthused Team Principal Sam Hignett.
"He's a hungry young driver with bags of experience, and I'm sure that will translate into an excellent sportscar racer. There's a wealth of talented guys emerging from single-seaters at the moment and, in Harry, we feel we've landed one of the best. Between him and Simon, Jota has the perfect blend of youth and experience.
Tincknell is set to make his competitive debut for the Jota Sport squad in the season-opening ELMS race at Silverstone on 19 April. Meanwhile the team will announce their platinum-graded driver shortly, completing what will be a formidable crew for the 2014 campaign.