Hertz Team JOTA. the privateer Porsche Le Mans Hypercar entrant backed by NFL legend Tom Brady, has set its sights on expanding its top class program with Porsche beyond the 2023 season, its first with the 963. The team aims to include selected IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events as part of this expanded program.
“We believe we have earned our pedigree and right to compete in the Hypercar class,” team co-owner Sam Hignett told RACER. “We have had six or seven seasons, three Le Mans wins and we have always been battling for titles — it’s been JOTA vs United (Autosports), JOTA vs WRT and JOTA vs PREMA. The consistent name in that is JOTA and that’s the value we hope to bring to the Hypercar program.”
“If we move up to a two-car Hypercar team it will be the end of LMP2 for us in its current guise. We need to focus on this program — it’s such a big business for the team and it needs to take all of our resources. We stopped the GT program so we could concentrate on this. If we are lucky enough to run a two-car program in Hypercar in 2024, that’s all we will focus on.”
Hignett confirmed that the potential for adding IMSA races to its schedule, taking its Porsche to the GTP class, would be a natural extension to the program.
“Hertz is based in Florida, Daytona is a very big race, so clearly that is on our radar,” he said. “It’s not finalized but something we are looking at, as well as some other big races in America. First and foremost we are a WEC team.”
Hignett also outlined the team’s plan for the start of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship, confirming that the team will debut its 963 at the third round of the series at Spa-Francorchamps.
“The first race for the Porsche will be at Spa — and as we know, after that it is Le Mans. The car is being built in Weissach right now and we have engineers out there learning about the car. We are not going to have time to test the car beforehand, but we are a race team not a test team, so we want to get out there and race,” he said.
In the meantime, JOTA will run with a pair of ORECA 07s in the LMP2 category of the WEC, ensuring it still has two cars on the grid at Sebring and Portimao. Once the Porsche makes its debut the team will scale back to a single-car LMP2 effort, with the team’s No. 28 completing the full season while the No. 38 joins the top class.