United Autosports has already started preparing for the upcoming 2022 season.
The English-American team has big plans for next season, expanding to two cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship in the LMP2 category.
The team will enter two ORECA 07 Gibson cars, with one of them being raced by Filipe Albuquerque. The Portuguese driver has been with the team since 2017, but has had to miss a few rounds here and there due to IMSA clashes. His teammates are not yet announced. He will continue in car #22.
The other car will be raced by the 15-year-old Josh Pierson, who currently participates in the USF2000 Championship in the USA. The young American will turn 16 in February, but will still be the by far youngest driver so far in the FIA WEC, plus he will be the youngest ever participant at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2022. The press photos that have been released, suggests that he will race car #23, which probably will be the car number for the FIA WEC programme, since #22 and #32 already are active in the ELMS – and at least one additional car from the ELMS should be expected for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The team has been a fixed part of the European Le Mans Series since 2016, where they started out running LMP3 cars, and took the title straight away, expanding into LMP2 as well in 2017. 2019 and 2020 have been some amazing seasons for the team, pretty much grabbing every single championship, that they were entered, including a Le Mans victory and LMP2 title in fall 2020. More recently, they have started to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team had so many automatic invitations for both the 2020 and 2021 races at Le Mans, that they actually had to turn some of them down, not to spread too thin across the cars.
If that was the case with three cars entered at Le Mans this year is hard to tell. The fact is, that the team didn’t perform quite as expected, with a lack of ultimate pace in the qualifying, and slipping back in the race too, before the team was hit by technical issues on #22, and a very unfortunate crash between #23 and #32 on Saturday evening, which send #32 out of the race, and #23 into the garage for a long time.
They are still on the title hunt for both the FIA WEC and ELMS titles, with two rounds remaining in both championships.