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24 Hours of Le Mans

Jota Sport completes its strongest Le Mans line-up to date with German star Luhr

470_2012_JOTA#38_GDJota Sport have signalled their intent to contend for class victory in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours (June 22-23) by confirming that highly-successful endurance racer Lucas Luhr will complete their line-up at the prestigious event.

The German racer joins Jota Sport regulars Simon Dolan and Oliver Turvey aboard the team’s LMP2 class Zytek-Nissan as they chase victory at the La Sarthe circuit, forming a crew that will rank among the strongest in the ultra-competitive category. The trio began preparations for the twice-around-the-clock contest this week with three days of testing at Spanish venue Motorland Aragón.

33-year-old Luhr enjoys a glittering racing CV that includes success across a wide range of series in both prototype and GT machinery. Notably, he is a two-time GT class winner at the Le Mans 24 Hours having triumphed for Porsche in 2002 and ‘03, and enjoyed a three-year spell competing for overall wins at La Sarthe as part of the factory Audi LMP1 squad.

He has also achieved significant success Stateside, claiming a brace of American Le Mans Series titles in the premier LMP1 class (2008 and ‘12), two GT category crowns (2002 and ‘03) and an LMP2 triumph (2006), as well as the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship alongside fellow countryman Michael Krumm. Indeed, Luhr is among the most respected competitors in endurance racing, with five GT class wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and a pair of Nurburgring 24 Hours triumphs to his name. This phenomenal record of success makes him the perfect final addition to Jota’s 2013 Le Mans line-up.

Lucas Luhr: “I am very pleased to be joining Jota Sport for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours. They have a proven record in LMP2 and are a very professional team, so I am really looking forward to working alongside Simon and Oliver. My initial impression from testing is that we have an excellent package.

“We will all be pushing very hard to achieve a strong result for the team at Le Mans. I have already won the GT class there and would definitely like to add an LMP2 victory as well. The category is extremely competitive so it won’t be easy, but we will give it our all.”

Sam Hignett, Jota Sport Team Principal: “Lucas completes what is undoubtedly our strongest Le Mans 24 Hours line-up to date. The partnership he will form with Oliver and Simon should be formidable and, though the LMP2 field will be extremely competitive, we are definitely targeting victory. Lucas’ GT class wins at La Sarthe, coupled with his vast experience of prototype competition, made him the ideal man for the job. We are thrilled to have him on-board.”

The team’s 2013 campaign will begin in earnest when the new European Le Mans Series season kicks-off at British Grand Prix venue Silverstone (April 13). The three-hour race will give Dolan and Turvey their first chance this year to put the Zytek-Nissan through its paces in a competitive environment.

Discussion

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  1. Lucas will have quite a busy schedule 2013 – ALMS with Muscle Milk, Le Mans with Jota, Blancpain Endurance Series with JRM-Nissan alongside Peter Dumbreck – wow. Guess he will be the only driver this year to drive LMP1, LMP2 and GT3.

    Posted by kw | February 15, 2013, 19:09
  2. How many top flight drivers are involved in this many programs with different groups. Not many.

    This is really not good in my opinion. The ALMS P1 championship battle will be very fierce this year. He might be too distracted to be at his best when the battle starts heating up in the last remaining races.

    Speaking of distractions, this is the guy that crashed at petit lemans when he clearly had a faster car than Neel Jani in the Rebellion. All the team wanted him to do was to shadow Neel Jani no more no less, because the Honda had a faster race pace. But he decided to open up the tap, and crashed.

    Sure the P1 championship has opened up more doors for him, but he should stay loyal to those who gave him the chance.

    Dyson (Mazda) and Rebellion (Lotus) are manufacturer supported and they can easily field second cars during the season to push their title hopes.

    Posted by David Chaste | February 15, 2013, 19:45
  3. I am rooting for Muscle milk, but they should no be surprised if they end up not winning the championship.

    Posted by David Chaste | February 15, 2013, 19:46
  4. bollocks! he is the man and will do it in style! You´ll c!
    ;-)

    Posted by kai | February 15, 2013, 21:47
  5. @David Chaste:
    In this case I wouldn’t say this is so much distraction. Lucas Luhr has raced for JRM in the GT World Championship before in 2011, parallel to his ALMS job, and this used to be more races than the Blancpain series, which only has 5 races in 2013 not interfering with the ALMS schedule. And before and after the 24h Le Mans there is a big break in the ALMS calendar anyway. The main motivation is probably to compete in all the big endurance races (24h Daytona, 12h Sebring, 24h LeMans, 24h Spa) in one year.

    Posted by kw | February 16, 2013, 12:44
  6. In 2011 he was not a full time member of the Muscle Milk team, so they were prepared for that.

    But this year they are fully going for the championship and the gloves are off.

    Secretly, the whole series and the fans want a strong American contender to take the fight to Rebellion and prevail. There’s a sense of pride here since it’s the last overall championship of the series. Many want an american team to win thereby showing the strength of the series.

    If you’ve ever played a really competitive sport, do you know what effects your performance on the field? It’s actually your time away from the competitive arena, mainly how much physical rest you get when away from the competitive arena. Your focus on the field is affected by how focus and meditation you give your sport when away from it.

    Klaus Graf will have to be fast and reliable to offset any hiccup Lucas might have.

    Posted by David Chaste | February 16, 2013, 15:34

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