Tincknell welcomes Spaniard Marc Gené to JOTA Sport
JOTA Sport has further strengthened its relationship with Audi Sport by securing the services of Marc Gené for its two-race 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship programme alongside Devon's Harry Tincknell and team owner Simon Dolan.
Gené, who celebrates his 40th birthday on Saturday (29 March), will join JOTA Sport's regular European Le Mans Series drivers Dolan and Sidmouth-based Tincknell for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) and 24 Heures du Mans (F).
The ultra-experienced Spaniard, who remains Audi Sport's 'reserve' driver* at both of these races, will test the Kent-based team's LMP2 Zytek Z11SN for the first time next week (1-2 April).
Gené joins fellow 'factory' Audi Sport driver Filipe Albuquerque, Dolan and Tincknell at the ELMS Official Tests at Paul Ricard (F). Albuquerque, as announced earlier this month, combines his Audi Sport LMP programme of Spa and Le Mans by racing for JOTA Sport in the five-race ELMS.
Gené contested 36 Grands Prix for the Minardi and Williams Formula One teams (1999-2004) and remains actively involved at this level, attending every GP as a Scuderia Ferrari F1 Test Driver a position he has held for almost 10 years with the Italian team.
Since 2007, Marc has carved out a very successful sports car career as a 'factory' driver with Team Peugeot Total and from 2012 at Audi Sport Team Joest. Indeed Gené, who became a Bachelor in Economics at the University of Buckingham in England and speaks six languages fluently, won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2009 and also finished on the 'podium' in 2008 and 2013. He also has won the Six Hours of Spa on three occasions (2008, '11 and '12).
Albuquerque also tests for JOTA Sport at Paul Ricard next week having had his maiden run with the British-based team in Portugal recently (9-10 March). Filipe, along with his ELMS team-mates Dolan and Exeter-born Tincknell, clocked up almost 700 trouble-free miles in the two-day test.
JOTA Sport, in addition to the two WEC races this year, contest the five-race ELMS having finished third in the Teams' Championship and joint third in the final Drivers' standings (Dolan and Oliver Turvey) last year.
The opening ELMS race is staged at Silverstone (18-19 April) a three-hour race the Kent-based team won last year with the Zytek Z11SN.
Harry Tincknell (GB). Age: 22 (29.10.91). Born: Exeter, Devon. Lives: Sidmouth, Devon (GB):
"Marc is going to be a big asset to the team. I remember watching him drive for Minardi in Formula One when I was a kid and so it's amazing I'll now be driving alongside him in arguably the world's biggest motor race.
"He has race winning form at both Spa and Le Mans and so it's a great opportunity for me to drive and learn from someone as established and experienced as him.
"The recent test in Estoril went very well. I'm sure it will stand us in good
shape come the end of the season when the Portuguese track hosts the final ELMS race.
"I'm feeling more confident with every run I do in the car and I am really enjoying the start to my sportscar career. It was great to drive with Filipe for the first time and I think his speed, consistency and feedback are going to be a big help for us this year."