Jota Sport and Sam Hancock will part company at the end of this year as both parties explore fresh opportunities for 2013 and beyond.
Sam enjoyed five successful seasons with the Kent-based outfit after co-founding Jota Sport with Simon Dolan and Sam Hignett in 2008. He soon became as valued for his day-to-day contribution to the business away from the track as he was an ever-fast and reliable competitor on it.
As well as heading the team’s Le Mans 24 Hours and European Le Mans Series driver line-ups, Sam played a significant role in Jota Sport securing Aston Martin Racing factory team status in 2010. During their five years together he also finished third in the 2008 Porsche Carrera Cup GB standings and scored victories in the FIA World Endurance Championship, 24 Hours of Spa and SPEED/VdeV series.
What is more, his proven driver coaching helped Dolan progress from racing novice to WEC LMP2 class race winner in just four years following their victory together at Spa in May.
Simon Dolan, Jota Sport co-owner:
“Personally, I’m very sad to see Sam leave Jota Sport. It was his guidance and tutelage that got me hooked on racing and subsequently helped me develop into a sports-prototype driver. Sharing the Zytek with him this year has been a great experience, especially our victory together at Spa. I would like to wish him all the best for the future and I’m sure we’ll be battling together on-track next season.”
“I would really like to thank every single person I’ve ever worked with at Jota for their relentless hard work and support over the last five years. They really are the most phenomenally talented and dedicated bunch of people you could hope to find anywhere – and in an industry full of such people, that’s saying something. I’ve driven for some great teams, but never a better one. It’s sad not to be driving for them next year and alongside Simon, who’s been a fantastic pupil and co-driver, but I'll be pursuing other opportunities. In the meantime I wish them the very best of luck.”
The decision does not alter Jota Sport’s intention to run a pair of Zytek-Nissan LMP2 prototypes in the European Le Mans Series, as well as at Le Mans itself, next season. The team has already received much interest in its 2013 programme that sees Dolan confirmed in one of the cars, but remains eager to hear from professional and gentlemen drivers who would like to discuss the upcoming post-season test, as well as plans for next year.