10 March 2015
ELMS: Yelloly makes JOTA sportscar switch
GP3 frontrunner Nick Yelloly has joined the road leading from single-seaters to sportscars after inking a European Le Mans Series deal with JOTA Sport.
GP3 Series stalwart Nick Yelloly will make the move from single-seaters to complete JOTA Sport's 2015 European Le Mans Series squad.
The Briton's maiden sportscar season will also see him make his Le Mans 24 Hour race debut as he lines up alongside Simon Dolan and Filipe Albuquerque as JOTA aims to go one better than last season and win the five-race ELMS series, while Dolan and Yelloly will also race the Gibson 015S at la Sarthe as the British team targets a second consecutive LMP2 victory.
“Having taken Oliver Turvey and more recently Harry Tincknell from single-seaters to sportscars, we have been keeping a close eye on up and coming British talent,” JOTA Group partner Sam Hignett explained, “Nick is right at the top of that list and we are thrilled to be able to put a deal together to get him at JOTA Sport. He's already proven to be extremely professional and fast and we are looking forward to working with him so that he establishes himself in sportscar racing.”
Yelloly began his motorsport career ten years ago but, having achieved success in karting and single-seaters – where he finished fifth in the 2012 Renault World Series and twice claimed sixth overall in GP3 – he turns his attention to JOTA's Nissan-powered Gibson, which he will test later this month.
“I've never raced a sportscar and tested one for the very first time early in February so 2015 will be a completely new experience for me - but one that I'm eagerly looking forward to,” the Midlander admitted, “Having had that first taste of sportscars when JOTA Sport tested at Estoril, I have no doubt that the transition will be very smooth. When I got in to the Gibson, it only took a few laps for me to acclimatise to the driving different style.”
Yelloly said he had no doubts about shifting his focus to endurance racing, and isn't tempted to keep his hand in with a parallel open-wheel campaign.
“Sportscars will be my only programme this year and the decision was very simple,” he confirmed, “The sportscar category is now getting much bigger compared to some top-line single-seater categories, the racing intrigues me, having to master new skills from almost continuous overtaking to fuel saving, and who could turn down competing at Le Mans! A number of single-seater guys have successfully made the switch over to sportscars like Brendon Hartley and Harry Tincknell and I have always dreamt of racing a LM P1 sports-prototype at Le Mans.”
Yelloly succeeds Tincknell, who moves on to bigger things after a successful stint with JOTA, and hopes to be able to continue the run of form he showed in recent years.
“Joining JOTA Sport was logical after its massively successful year in 2014, and I'm really pleased to get this opportunity and to be able to race with a team that put Harry Tincknell on the road to success,” he said, “My aims for 2015 are exactly the same from when I began in motorsport ten years ago and that is to win. JOTA was the ELMS runner-up and so the target must be to go one better and replicate its Le Mans success. I can't wait for the new challenge that lies ahead.”
JOTA's third Le Mans driver will be revealed later this month because Albuquerque competes in the 24 hour race for Audi Sport Team Joest, while an official two-day ELMS test at Paul Ricard over 23-24 March will give Yelloly an early taste of the opposition among the dozen LMP2 contenders expected to be in attendance.
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