Nato, Ilott, and Hanson to JOTA

Hertz Team JOTA has announced another three drivers for their 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship programme.

When the FIA WEC entry list was revealed two weeks ago, we already had Will Stevens confirmed in the Porsche 963 #12. He will be joined by Callum Ilott and Norman Nato.

Ilott is a former Ferrari Junior driver, but left that programme, when there was no obvious chance of a Formula 1 seat for him. He did get a taste of sportscar racing prior to leaving the Italian brand, including competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in GT World Challenge Europe. He raced in the NTT IndyCar Series for Juncos Hollinger Racing in 2022 and 2023, and actually had a deal for 2024 too. But there was some issues with the collaboration several times in 2023, when Ilott and teammate Agustin Canapino clashed several times on track, which actually led to death threats towards Ilott from Argentinian fans. So that deal ended abruptly following the season finale in September.

Nato has been a bit here, there and everywhere in sportscars – and in motorsport in general. After a single seater career in both Formula Renault 3,5 and GP2/Formula 2, he moved into sportscars and LMP2 racing for 2018. One year later, he was racing LMP1 for Rebellion Racing, including two wins, before they shut the programme down. He then switched back to LMP2, running a parallel programme with ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, where he has claimed one win so far. He will be competing again this coming season in Formula E, which most likely results in a no-show at the 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps, since that clashes with the Berlin round of Formula E. JOTA has already asked the FIA WEC orginasation if it’s ok to do 6 hour races with just two drivers, and got an OK. He had his first outing for Hertz Team JOTA following the season finale in Bahrain, where he got to share the car #38 with Will Stevens.

Norman Nato, Hertz Team JOTA #38
Photo: JJ Media

Hertz Team JOTA also revealed Oliver Rasmussen in their second car, bearing their classic number #38. Phil Hanson was announced today as teammate to the Danish driver. Hanson arrives at the team with 7 years of LMP2 experience, with 6 of those being at United Autosports. He has been part of winning both the European Le Mans Series and the FIA WEEC in the LMP2 category, including a win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s been very clear for a long time, that his ambitions was to race in Hypercar, but with UA being dismissed on several occasions by Hypercar manufactures, there was no other option for him to go to different teams in both IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA WEC. He will be the endurance driver for JDC-Miller Motorsports too, who competes with another Porsche 963. So he will be one of the drivers onboard privateer Porsche’s in 2024, who will get the most laps in such machinery. So it will be interesting to see, what that turns into for 2025-

There is still one vacant seat at the British team, and time will tell the exact identity of that driver. The team has been in talks with several drivers, who has some quite impressive CV’s, if the rumors are true. But they are not ready to make that announcement just yet.

The FIA WEC 2024 season starts with the Prologue in Qatar on 24-25 February, with the first race of the year on the following weekend.

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