Jota Sport to race full FIA WEC season in 2016

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Jota Sport has announced that it will compete in the full FIA World Endurance Championship season in 2016 with an Oreca LMP2 car.

Jota currently focuses its endurance racing endeavors on the European Le Mans Series, only taking part in select rounds of the WEC.

In 2015, the team’s Gibson-Nissan car won the LMP2 class at the 6 Hours of Spa before finishing second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

However, Jota Sport will now expand its WEC commitment to the full 2016 campaign, as confirmed in a statement on Friday.

“Jota Sport will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship with an ORECA 05-Nissan while continuing to compete in the European Le Mans Series with its venerable Gibson-Nissan next year,” it reads.

“2016 marks the first year that the British team will contest a full WEC season although it has already enjoyed considerable success in the championship.”

Team owner and driver Simon Dolan is confident that Jota Sport can maintain its good form from its occasional appearances across the full WEC season, targeting the LMP2 title in 2016.

“I am obviously very excited for Jota Sport to be competing in the 2016 WEC,” Dolan said. “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.

“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.”

Jota Sport raced at Spa and Le Mans with Dolan and ex-GP3 champion Mitch Evans, whilst Nissan’s Harry Ticknell and Formula E driver Oliver Turvey filled the third seat for one race each.

With Evans working closely with Porsche LMP1 driver Mark Webber, Jota’s commitment to a full season could offer him an opportunity to move full-time into sportscar racing from GP2.

Regardless, the presence of another team in LMP2 is only set to strengthen the class ahead of its regulation change in 2017.

Conor Daly honors friend killed Saturday amid Indianapolis unrest

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IndyCar driver Conor Daly posted a poignant tribute to Chris Beaty, a former Indiana University football player and Indianapolis business owner who was killed Saturday amid protests and rioting in the city.

Daly said he got to know Beaty, who owned an event and marketing promotions company, five years ago when he was organizing Indianapolis 500 afterparties.

Daly annually had been involved in Beaty’s parties since then and said Beaty helped get him home earlier this year when Daly’s blood sugar crashed while at an event.

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“The world lost a tremendous person. RIP Chris Beaty,” wrote Daly, who also tweeted “The violence has to stop.”

According to the Indianapolis Star, Beaty died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds during Saturday night’s unrest in downtown Indianapolis. It’s unclear if the shooting was tied to the protests.

Graham Rahal also posted about his interaction with Beaty.

Daly, Rahal and the rest of the IndyCar Series will return to action Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET, NBC).