United Autosports commits to WEC LMP2 expansion for 2019/20 season

The Anglo-American United Autosports LMP2 squad co-owned by McLaren boss Zak Brown will step up full-time to the World Endurance Championship for the 2019/20 season

United Autosports commits to WEC LMP2 expansion for 2019/20 season

The multiple race winner in the European Le Mans Series has given the go-ahead to plans it outlined in September to move into the WEC.

The Leeds-based team, which has competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours blue-riband WEC round for the past two years, will field a single Ligier-Gibson JSP217 in the eight-round series starting at Silverstone in September.

The car will be driven by team regulars Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson, and a third driver who has yet to be determined.

Brown said: "It has been the aim for United Autosports to enter the world series for a while, but everything needed to fall into place so we could do it at the right time.

"We feel that now is the right time.

"We have developed a great relationship with Phil and Filipe, and they make a fantastic pairing."

United managing director Richard Dean stressed that the team had "ultimate belief in Ligier Automotive [formerly Onroak Automotive] and relish this opportunity to take on a world championship with its full support".

He had previously suggested that the squad might not continue with the Ligier chassis, stressing that the race team and United's position as the French constructor's UK importer were entirely separate.

Albuquerque, who won the final two races of last year's ELMS season with Hanson, revealed that he views the WEC as "unfinished business".

"I finished P2 in 2016 in LMP2 [with the RGR Sport Ligier team], so now with Phil and United, I think we really have the package to win," he said.

"I'm super happy to be back in the WEC."

Hanson, who is leading the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series with United, said he was looking forward to racing on a "truly global platform".

United said it was too early to say whether the team would continue to compete in LMP2 in the ELMS beyond the end of the 2019 season.

It is also one of the front-runners in the LMP3 class in of the series, having claimed drivers' and teams' title doubles in 2016 and '17.

shares
comments
BMW rules out WEC hypercar programme for 2020/21 season
Previous article

BMW rules out WEC hypercar programme for 2020/21 season

Next article

Revived Brabham marque aiming to race GTE Pro class at 2022 Le Mans

Revived Brabham marque aiming to race GTE Pro class at 2022 Le Mans
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Plus

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Autosport recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Plus

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Plus

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Plus

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title Plus

How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title

In the penultimate round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship, a better run of tyre wear for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi brought the Toyota trio its third win from five events, as the #7 squad put one hand on the title. Here's how the first of the WEC's two Bahrain enduros played out

WEC
Nov 1, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021