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JOTA Announces First LMP2 Lineup with Two FE Drivers

FE drivers Vandoorne, Blomqvist team with Gelael in JOTA’s first confirmed WEC LMP2 lineup…

Photos: Jakob Ebrey

JOTA has named its first driver lineup for the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship with Sean Gelael partnering Formula E drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Tom Blomqvist.

The British squad plans to continue running two Oreca 07 Gibsons in the WEC next season after it operated both the JOTA and Jackie Chan DC Racing entries in 2019-20.

Vandoorne and Blomqvist are racing full-time in this year’s ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for Mercedes and NIO 333 respectively, while the avoidance of date clashes between the electric single-seater series and the WEC means they can contest both.

Last season’s Formula E runner-up Vandoorne is set for his return to sports car racing and his first full-length campaign in the world championship.

The Belgian ex-Formula 1 driver experienced the WEC in the final two rounds of the 2018-19 ‘Super Season’ driving for SMP Racing in the LMP1 category.

He achieved a brace of podium results in those appearances, including finishing third at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov.

“It will be really good to combine this program together with my Formula E campaign in 2021 so I am really looking forward to getting started,” said Vandoorne.

“To be in the WEC with JOTA is great because they are such an established and respected team in a super competitive environment, which is obviously something I always look to be involved in.

“To be able to do it together with Sean and Tom is great as well, because they’re two of my great racing friends.”

NIO 333 FE signing Blomqvist previously drove for BMW in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and also made a handful of 2018-19 WEC appearances for the German manufacturer.

The Brit exited the BMW works program at the end of 2019 but contested several major endurance races last year including Le Mans in GTE-Am, the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in which he finished second, and the Paul Ricard 1000km which he won with AF Corse.

Gelael, meanwhile, briefly appeared in the WEC in 2016 with LMP2 outfit Extreme Speed Motorsports. Gelael and Blomqvist shared a car in that year’s 6 Hours of Shanghai.

The Indonesian racer most recently contested the FIA Formula 2 Championship with DAMS.

“We are really excited to confirm Sean, Tom and Stoffel’s programs for 2021 and are looking forward to challenging for wins and the LMP2 title,” said JOTA co-owner David Clark.

“The quality of this trio is another great statement of intent from us all at JOTA. Sean has been a mainstay in top-level racing now for several years and is clearly a dedicated and impressive professional.

“I’ve followed Tom’s career over the years and it is clear he is a winner and someone who will bring excellence to the cockpit and a lot of other areas.

“Stoffel’s achievements need little introduction and it will be fantastic to work with him over the course of the year.

“I’d like to thank all three for showing such great foresight and commitment in getting this plan together and we look forward to some great action and top results across the world in 2021.”

All three drivers will also pilot the team’s No. 38 Oreca in the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series which is being held entirely at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Gelael and Vandoorne will team up for the first two four-hour races on Feb. 4-6 while Blomqvist will take Vandoorne’s place for the final two rounds on Feb. 19-20.

Correction: This article was updated at 9 a.m. ET to reflect the team that Blomqvist will be driving for in Formula E.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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