Jota forced into chassis change at Le Mans, Hyperpole appearance in doubt

The #12 Hertz Jota could miss out on the Hyperpole qualifying at Le Mans following Callum Ilott’s heavy FP2 crash.

Callum Ilott Le Mans
Callum Ilott Le Mans

Callum Ilott, Will Stevens and Norman Nato could miss out on Hyperpole at Le Mans due to damage suffered in FP2.

Ilott crashed the #12 Jota Porsche car, and although the British driver was unharmed, significant damage to the machine means they could be restricted to starting the 24h race from eighth.

A team statement from Jota said: “After the accident late last night in Le Mans with Callum Ilott and the #12 Porsche 963 Hypercar, we have been carefully assessing the situation to understand our options for the remainder of the weekend,” said 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 fulfil all regulatory obligations before being able to communicate our next steps.”

The second Jota of Jenson Button, Oliver Rasmussen and Phillip Hansen could only manage 17th in Wednesday’s qualifying practice, meaning they also won’t be in tonight’s Hyperpole session.

Restrictions to rebuilding a damaged car mean Jota will need to be careful with their approach.

After looking unlikely to make the Hyperpole session when Kamui Kobayashi bumped them down to ninth, Ilott, Stevens and Nato were given entry to the shootout when the #7 Toyota lost all its lap times due to a crash that caused a red flag by Kobayashi.

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