THE BLOG

The Road to Le Mans

04/05/2016 09:26

Where it all began

I started karting when I was eight years old, racing for Andy Cox Racing. At that stage it was nothing serious and I just did for a bit of fun. I then moved into the British Championships when I was 10 years old and won the British 0 plate Championship. It's a big one off event and, if you win that, you get to run the number zero, which in racing terms is pretty big achievement.

I then moved into junior karting and raced in a competition called KF3 and won the British "stars of tomorrow" Championship in my first season. I raced in that championship for three seasons and in my final season I won the British "super one" championship and World Championship.

At 16 I moved into single seater cars and I managed to win the Intersteps Championship in my first season.

I then moved into Formula Renault and I competed in NEC (Northern European Championship). Again, I won that in my first year.

From there I raced in Europe Cup and then went on to drive in Formula Three for Carlin. I had a couple of podium finishes but it wasn't my greatest year and I struggled.

But in my second season in Formula Three I raced for the Prema Powerteam. There I won six races, secured six pole positions and went on to finish third in the championship. Then, out of the blue, the opportunity to race for one of the most exciting endurance racing teams landed at my feet.

I went out for a meal with the manager of Racing Steps Foundation who I am sponsored by. I didn't know what to expect really.

When he told me that I would be racing for JOTA Sport at Spa and Le Mans in the World Endurance Championships I was ecstatic. Le Mans is one of the biggest races in the world and I am lucky to be racing for such a good team. I knew JOTA had won the race in the past but it wasn't until I met the team at the factory that I realised how big an opportunity this was for me. I have been given the opportunity by JOTA to race at Le Mans.....and I can't wait! It will be an incredible experience racing in front of so many fans. It gives me a real adrenaline buzz.

My aim is to become a professional racing driver and Sebastian Vettel is a great inspiration of mine. I also owe a lot to my Dad. He used race as well and I guess that's where my talent comes from.

Le Mans is on another level though.There are so many different factors to consider: fuel saving, racing in two hour stints, so I know that I have a lot of learning to do.

In between races there is a lot of downtime but the more preparation you can do the better.
It's been a busy week for me, this week. I got back from GP3 testing on Sunday and so Monday was pretty chilled day for me. Away from the track though I like to keep myself fit by cycling so I went out on the bike for a couple of hours.

Then on Tuesday, I was at Silverstone for a fitness assessment. I usually go every week, it's something that we have to do to make sure we are fit enough to race at this level. It's just a general assessment but it's good because it helps you look after yourself. The hardest part was probably being inside a heat chamber for an hour. It's possibly the most uncomfortable training there is! 35 degrees just isn't pleasant.

Then on both Wednesday and Thursday I was practicing on the simulator from 9am to 5.30pm. The simulator gives you a taster of what to expect when you race and it's something that a lot of drivers will use in the lead up to races.

I have always really enjoyed practicing using simulators, although it will never compare to the real thrill of racing. It's so important though and a big part of my preparation. If you memorise what lines to take so you naturally just do it when it comes to the race, then you are already at an advantage. It really can be the difference between finishing first and second.

I finished the week by going to Arden to pick up my race helmets, boots and gloves ahead of the race in Spa this weekend.

Now I'm just so excited and I can't wait to finally get behind the wheel and make my debut for JOTA Sport. It's been a great start to the season for the team and I hope I can help keep the momentum going with another good performance!

Stay tuned.

Jake

Jake Dennis is set to join British endurance motor racing team JOTA Sport - operating under G-Drive Racing - for the iconic Le Mans 24 Hour race. Follow @JotaSport on twitter

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