United Autosports is still a contender to clinch the ELMS title on October 22nd (18 points behind G-Drive Racing). Meanwhile, the American team is already looking ahead to the 2018 season and has just announced its intention to enter two Ligier JS P217s in the European Le Mans Series and to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
This year, United Autosports debuted at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time ever. With a driver line-up composed of Felipe Albuquerque, Will Owen and Hugo de Saedeleer, the #32 Ligier JS P217 finished fifth overall, fourth in the LMP2 class and was Ligier's most successful representative. Also present in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), the car is currently in the battle for the title. It will all play out in just a few days at the finale in Portimão, Portugal on October 22nd.
The outfit co-founded by Zak Brown (executive director of McLaren Technology Group) and Richard Dean will continue to expand in 2018 as two Ligier JS P217s will be entered in the ELMS in LMP2. Phil Hanson is the first driver to have been confirmed. The young 18-year-old Brit is the LMP2 class defending champion in the Asian Le Mans Series. This year, he represented the Tockwith Motorsport team in the ELMS and in the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) at the wheel of a Ligier JS P217. He participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this past June for the first time of his career, finishing 10th in the LMP2 class. He will also take the start at the Rolex 24 at Daytona this coming January, along with Lando Norris (a driver who has drawn the interest of McLaren F1).
United Autosports has also decided to participate once again in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, subject to approval by the Selection Committee. But in the meantime, the team may just earn two automatic invitations in a little more than a week at the European Le Mans Series finale by winning the LMP2 and LMP3 titles.
Information from team press release.