Vandoorne, Gelael join JOTA for 2021 WEC season

Ex-Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne will return to the FIA World Endurance Championship this year as he spearheads JOTA Sport's assault on the LMP2 category.

Vandoorne, Gelael join JOTA for 2021 WEC season
Listen to this article

Vandoorne will join Formula 2 convert Sean Gelael and Tom Blomqvist at the wheel of JOTA's Oreca 07, with the trio also contesting the upcoming Asian Le Mans Series season.

Both Mercedes racer Vandoorne and NIO 333 man Blomqvist will dovetail the 2021 WEC campaign, due to begin at Sebring in March, with their Formula E commitments.

Read Also:

For Vandoorne, it will mark a return to the series after he made two starts for the SMP Racing LMP1 team in 2019 in place of his former McLaren F1 teammate Jenson Button, which culminated in a third-place finish in that year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

“It will be really good to combine this programme together with my Formula E campaign in 2021 so I am really looking forward to getting started," commented the Belgian.

“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.”

Gelael meanwhile makes the switch to sportscar racing full-time after a long career in the junior single-seater ranks, having been a fixture of GP2/F2 since 2015. In that time he scored two podium finishes and a best championship position of 15th.

The Indonesian driver made three WEC starts in late 2016 for the now-defunct Extreme Speed Motorsports LMP2 squad in a previous-generation Ligier JS P2, briefly sharing a car with then-fellow GP2 racer Antonio Giovinazzi, now racing in Formula 1 for Alfa Romeo.

#30 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2 Nissan: Antonio Giovinazzi, Sean Gelael, Tom Blomqvist

#30 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2 Nissan: Antonio Giovinazzi, Sean Gelael, Tom Blomqvist

Photo by: Vision Sport Agency

Blomqvist partnered Gelael and Giovinazzi for one of those races before making three more outings in the GTE Pro class in 2018 as a factory BMW driver.

JOTA co-owner David Clark said: “We are really excited to confirm Sean, Tom and Stoffel’s programmes for 2021 and are looking forward to challenging for wins and the LMP2 title. The quality of this trio is another great statement of intent from us all at JOTA.

“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.”

Gelael will run the full Asian Le Mans Series season, which will comprise two pairs of four-hour races staged on a variety of layouts at Abu Dhabi across three weeks in February. Vandoorne will join Gelael for the first two races, with Blomqvist taking over for the latter two.

JOTA is understood to still be working on plans to field a two-car LMP2 entry in the WEC, but its association with Jackie Chan DC Racing will not continue.

#37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07: Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry, Will Stevens

#37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07: Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry, Will Stevens

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Glickenhaus joins forces with Joest Racing for WEC debut
Previous article

Glickenhaus joins forces with Joest Racing for WEC debut

Next article

Toyota drivers say "politics" will determine Alpine battle

Toyota drivers say "politics" will determine Alpine battle
How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans Prime

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future Prime

How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Prime

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Motorsport.com hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022
The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory Prime

The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory

Peugeot went radical with the initial plan for its Le Mans Hypercar project, and then stuck to its guns. Here’s how things are shaping up a few weeks before the debut of the 9X8 in next month's Monza World Endurance Championship round

WEC
Jun 1, 2022
How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa Prime

How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa

After a chastening opening to the season at Sebring that ended in an enormous accident, Toyota's #7 crew got their World Endurance Championship underway with victory at a treacherously slippery Spa to make up for its sister car's Sebring defeat to Alpine, as Glickenhaus's promising qualifying turned to disaster in the race

WEC
May 9, 2022
How Toyota's WEC dominance was curbed at stormy Sebring Prime

How Toyota's WEC dominance was curbed at stormy Sebring

Toyota’s stranglehold on the FIA World Endurance Championship ended at the 2022 opener at Sebring, but all accusing eyes were on the Balance of Performance system as the key to the shake-up. Here's how it unfolded, to see Alpine celebrating under a stormy sky having blown away the defending champions...

WEC
Mar 21, 2022
Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year Prime

Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year

Team Penske is gearing up for its role in running Porsche’s LMDh programme from 2023 by entering this year's World Endurance Championship with an LMP2 car. Although the team is considering 2022 as a season to learn, it is no less serious about winning than ever - which should make the already fiercely competitive class even more so

WEC
Mar 17, 2022
Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022 Prime

Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022

Ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of its new 9X8 Hypercar, Peugeot revealed that it would not be entering this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with its incoming machinery. Although development restrictions for homologated cars are partially responsible, the French marque can draw on its own lessons from its history in sportscars

WEC
Feb 28, 2022