Jota Sport will step up to the FIA World Endurance Championship full-time next year, having announced Friday that it has purchased an Oreca 05 Nissan for 2016.
The British squad, which have been front-runners in the European Le Mans Series, will also remain in the continental championship next year with its Gibson 015S Nissan, as part of a transitional program heading into the new-for-2017 LMP2 regulations.
“This announcement marks a very exciting era for Jota Sport,” Jota Sport partner Sam Hignett said. “We’re very much looking forward to working closely with Hugues de Chaunac’s ORECA operation and of course racing its fabulous 05 or 06 Coupe which pipped us to LMP2 class honors at Le Mans this year.”
Jota’s newly forged long-term partnership with the French constructor will see the team take delivery of two Oreca 05 chassis, with one focused on testing and development over the course of 2016.
The team expects to take delivery of the first chassis by the end of this year.
“To work with such a squad, for us as a manufacturer, is very exciting,” said ORECA President Hugues de Chaunac. “I’ve had discussions with Jota in the past and I’m happy these have now turned into a great project.
“We’re looking forward to taking up interesting challenges together and I’m convinced that the Jota Sport and Oreca 05 combination will impress.”
Jota is no stranger to WEC competition, having claimed LMP2 honors at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year, while also taking part in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps since 2012, highlighted by a pair of class victories.
“We have proven over the last three years with our WEC wins at Le Mans and Spa that we will be immediately fighting for race wins while the LMP2 championship title is definitely our aim and within our grasp,” Simon Dolan said.
“We have been looking very closely at various chassis and I’m delighted to announce our partnership with ORECA. We have been very impressed with the ORECA 05 having raced against one all season in both WEC and ELMS races.
“It was quick straight out of the box and just as importantly, has shown remarkable reliability. I am confident that we have chosen the best chassis for 2016 and beyond in to the new regulations.”
The team, which currently leads the ELMS title race into this weekend’s penultimate round of the season at Paul Ricard, has yet to announce drivers for either WEC or ELMS programs.
Its move to ORECA comes in the wake of the new LMP2 regulations, which sees involvement from only four chassis constructors.
Jota’s longtime chassis partner, Gibson, elected not to place a constructor bid and is understood to be one of the finalists for the spec engine contract, which is expected to be announced next week.