United Autosports has announced a partnership with McLaren Automotive, regarding a programme in the FIA World Endurance Championship in the GT3 category for the 2024 season.
McLaren will however first have to be accepted as a constructor in the FIA WEC, with very limited spaces available.
UA has been active in ACO racing since 2016, when they entered the European Le Mans Series, first running a pair of LMP3 cars, and then later on LMP2 cars as well. They expanded to a FIA WEC programme in 2019, winning the title in the very first, including victory at Le Mans in June 2020 in the LMP2 category.
They have been in the mix for a Hypercar programme, but things haven’t really come into effect yet. It should be pointed out, that there is no mention of Hypercar or LMDh in today’s announcement, but there have been rumours about a McLaren programme in the top category in sportscars for a long time. The first step towards that in 2025 or 2026, would for sure be to get a GT3 entry for 2024.
McLaren has built GT3 cars for many seasons, but hasn’t done much in ACO racing, except for a few customer teams running in the Asian Le Mans Series throughout the years. They have been quite active in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for some years, being a front runner for many years.
United Autosports is owned by Brit Richard Dean and American Zak Brown – yes, the Zak Brown who is on top of McLaren. So the rumors about a collaboration have been ongoing for several years, but without coming to fruition until now.
As previously mentioned, the spaces in the FIA WEC are limited to about 36 cars. Somewhere between 16 and 20 Hypercars are expected for 2024, and that has some influence on how many GT3 manufacturers are allowed in. Each manufacturer will have two slots in GT3, and then it’s up to each constructor to select the team.
The FIA WEC 2024 starts in Qatar in February.