United Autosports expands their European Le Mans Series programme to two cars, as it has been announced by the team today.
The team has compete in the 2017 ELMS season with a Ligier JS P217, driven by Hugo de Sadeleer, Filipe Albuerquerque and Will Owen. The team competed at Le Mans as well, where they finished in an overall fifth position and fourth in the LMP2 category.
The plan is to participate in the ELMS 2018 and Le Mans with two LMP2 cars, if they will get the tickets from the ACO. But the team has been constantly in the top of the ELMS this year, and took the win at the opening round at Silverstone back in April.
The team will also compete in the Daytona 24 Hours in January, and there will be with two new drivers behind the wheel.
18 year-old Phil Hanson will be a part of the Daytona, ELMS and Le Mans driver line-up. At Daytona he will share the car with Lando Norris and a third driver who’s yet to be announced. 17 year-old Norris will only do Daytona, before he will point his focus back on his single-seater career towards his ultimate goal – Formula 1.
Phil Hanson already has a lot of experience, despite his young age, by running in the ELMS, FIA WEC and Le Mans. He was a part of the Tockwith Motorsports team, with whom he won the Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 Championship with in the 2016/17 season, before stepping up to LMP2 with a Ligier JS P217. But things didn’t go to plan and they split up after the Nürburgring WEC round.
But it’s yet too early to think about 2018 for United Autosports. They need to keep focus on the ELMS finale, which will be run in Portimao in Portugal in one and a half weeks’ time. United Autosports have the opportunity to win both the LMP2 and LMP3 titles. Best options are for the LMP3, where John Falb and Sean Rayhall currently holds a 19 points gap, while Sadeleer, Albuerquerque and Owen sit second in LMP2, with 18 points up to the leaders.