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Da Costa wanted to stay in WEC without BMW

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Da Costa wanted to stay in WEC without BMW
By:
Aug 30, 2019, 3:43 PM

New JOTA LMP2 driver Antonio Felix da Costa targeted a return to the FIA World Endurance Championship as soon as he knew BMW was ending its GTE campaign.

The long-time BMW driver told Motorsport.com that he made it priority to find a drive in the WEC alongside a continued presence in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, which is due to be confirmed as early as Monday.

"I started talking to people as soon as BMW made it clear that we wouldn't be racing on with the M8 GTE — I like endurance racing," said da Costa, who has replaced Pastor Maldonado aboard JOTA's Goodyear-liveried #38 Oreca 07 (pictured top).

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Da Costa, 27, explained that his first port of call had been the British JOTA team after making his prototype debut in one of its Orecas entered under the Jackie Chan DC Racing banner at the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

"I really enjoyed driving a prototype and Jota was where I started looking," said the Portuguese driver, who revealed that he also had discussions with the Rebellion Racing LMP1 squad. 

"When I started talking to Jota, it was about the racing the other Jota car [entered as Chan/DC]. But I was happy to get the late call to drive this car."

#38 JOTA Oreca 07 - Gibson: Roberto Gonzalez, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Anthony Davidson

#38 JOTA Oreca 07 - Gibson: Roberto Gonzalez, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Anthony Davidson

Photo by: JEP / LAT Images

Da Costa will drive alongside Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez after Maldonado stood down from the team last week

The Venezuelan, winner of the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix with Williams, made his racing comeback in LMP2 with Gonzalez's programme last year when it was run by DragonSpeed.

Da Costa wouldn't be drawn on his FE programme for season six in 2019/20, but it appears certain that he will take the seat vacated by Andre Lotterer at DS Techeetah. 

That is expected to involve him ending a relationship with BMW that stretches back to 2014 and the first of his three seasons in the DTM with the German manufacturer. 

Da Costa has raced for the past three seasons in FE with the Andretti squad, which in 2018/19 competed as a full BMW factory entry for the first time.

He will skip any WEC races that clash with his expected FE commitments, currently meaning the Bahrain race in December and the Sebring 1000 Miles next March.

The WEC 4 Hours of Silverstone will be streamed live on Motorsport.tv. Click here for more coverage details.

Antonio Felix da Costa, BMW I Andretti Motorsports

Antonio Felix da Costa, BMW I Andretti Motorsports

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / LAT Images

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Series WEC
Author Gary Watkins