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Ex-Audi boss Gass joins JOTA to lead WEC Hypercar programme

Former Audi motorsport boss Dieter Gass is joining the JOTA team ahead of its move into the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship with a new Porsche 963.

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director, Dieter Gass, Head of DTM Audi Sport

Gass, who was head of motorsport at Audi in 2017-20, will lead the British operation’s assault on the top category of the 2023 WEC as team principal of Hertz Team JOTA.

He joins the reigning LMP2 champion team from Audi where he was moved into an undisclosed role after being replaced as head of its racing activities in November 2020 by Julius Seebach.

Gass will oversee JOTA's Hypercar programme with a solo Porsche LMDh prototype to be driven by Antonio Felix da Costa, Will Stevens and Yifei Ye.

JOTA’s 963 is set to make its debut at round three of this year’s WEC at Spa at the end of April, before which da Costa, Stevens and Ye will race an LMP2 Oreca-07 in the colours of new sponsor Hertz.

Gass said: “Hertz Team JOTA is a new entrant into WEC’s Hypercar class, built upon long-term racing pedigree and an innovative approach to bringing new fans to the championship.

“We have a strong mix of skill and youthful potential in our drivers, and an experienced engineering and technical team.

“I look forward to working alongside the team, where we hope to challenge for race wins and championship honours.”

Jota will move into the Hypercar class this year having previously competed in LMP2

Jota will move into the Hypercar class this year having previously competed in LMP2

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

JOTA directors Sam Hignett and David Clark said in a joint statement: “Dieter brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that we believe will take Hertz Team JOTA forward over the coming years.

“We’re stepping up to the Hypercar class and competing against some of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers.

“Dieter has lived and breathed competitive motorsport at the highest level and will help build on our foundations to bring our historical success to the top class of endurance racing.”

Gass rejoined Audi in 2011 as head of racing, working alongside long-time Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich on its LMP1 and DTM programmes, before being given responsibility for the German-based touring car series in 2013.

He formerly worked for the German manufacturer as an engineer in 1994-2001 before leaving for the Toyota Formula 1 team, eventually becoming chief race engineer.

A short spell as sporting director of the Team Lotus F1 team, which subsequently became Caterham, in 2010-11 preceded his return to Audi.

He was announced as the new head of motorsport for the German marque in December 2016 ahead of a hand-over season with Ullrich, which included Audi’s full-factory entry into Formula E.

His departure from the top motorsport job at Audi followed the manufacturer’s announcement of its withdrawal from Formula E and twin returns to sportscar racing in the LMDh category and rallying with an assault on the Dakar.

The Audi LMDh programme was subsequently axed early in 2022.

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