The chances of United Autosports following up on its maiden World Endurance Championship LMP2 class victory in Bahrain in December didn't look likely just after the start of the second hour in Austin last weekend. Paul di Resta had just pitted the team's ORECA-Gibson 07 early with tyre issues and the car was down in eighth place. But, just over four and a half hours later, the machine co-driven by Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson completed an almost comfortable 24-second victory.
A combination of the United trio's speed on a day when its Michelin tyres proved superior to the rival Goodyears and a revised strategy thought up on the hoof allowed the team to overcome the handicap of an extra pitstop caused by early issues. It helped, too, that United's rivals in class each had delays or problems of their own.
Di Resta had jumped into the class lead at the start, but the tyre issues meant he was down in fourth inside 15 minutes. The Scot, back at Austin for the first time since the end of his Formula 1 career in 2013, had started on the softer-compound Michelin rubber on which he and Hanson had qualified second.