United Autosports

United Autosports is a sports car racing team,[2][3] founded by American businessman and entrepreneur Zak Brown[4] and former British racing driver Richard Dean.[5]

United Kingdom United Autosports
United Autosports Logo.jpg
Founded2009[1]
BaseWakefield, England
Team principal(s)Zak Brown, Richard Dean
Current series2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship, 2020 European Le Mans Series, 2020 Michelin Le Mans Cup
Former seriesLe Mans 24 Hours, Asian Le Mans Series, Henderson Insurance LMP3 Cup, Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, GT Cup, British GT, British Touring Car Championship
Current driversPortugal Filipe Albuquerque
United Kingdom Andrew Bentley
United Kingdom Wayne Boyd
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
United Kingdom Paul di Resta
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
United Kingdom Phil Hanson
United States Jim McGuire
United Kingdom Andy Meyrick
United States Will Owen
United States John Schauerman
Brazil Daniel Schneider
United Kingdom Duncan Tappy
Netherlands Job van Uitert
United Kingdom Rob Wheldon

Websiteunitedautosports.com
United Autosports in 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans
The United Autosports Ligier JSP217 co-driven by William Owen, Hugo de Sadeleer and Filipe Albuquerque. The car went on to finish the race in fifth place overall, fourth in LMP2.

The team is contesting the FIA World Endurance Championship,[6] European Le Mans Series[7] and Michelin Le Mans Cup in 2020.[8]

Paul Di Resta (second left), Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque won the 2020 Spa 6 Hours WEC race in August

United Autosports also prepares and races a range of historic race cars in events across the world, such as the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion[9] and the Le Mans[10] and Silverstone[11] Classics.

United Autosports scored its third consecutive WEC LMP2 victory at Spa in August 2020

Since the team's founding in 2009, United Autosports has competed in high-profile races across the world, including the Spa 24 Hours,[12] the Bathurst 12 Hour,[13] the Gulf 12 Hours,[14] and the Dubai 24 Hour,[15] along with entering championships such as the British Touring Car Championship,[16][17] GT Cup,[18] European Supercar Challenge,[19] Ginetta GT4 Supercup,[20] FIA GT3 European Championship,[21] and Blancpain Endurance Series[22] and the British GT Championship.[23][24] The team has also raced in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona,[25] Intercontinental Le Mans Cup,[26] Macau GT Cup,[27] and Petit Le Mans.[28]

Paul Di Resta, Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque won the LMP2 class for United Autosports in the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours, September 2020

United Autosports has partnerships with two world-renowned motor racing teams, Walkinshaw Andretti United in Australia and US-based Andretti Autosport.[29] Andretti and United have teamed up to contest the inaugural season of Extreme E, an off-road racing series that begins in January 2021, racing electric-powered SUV vehicles.[30]

Paul Di Resta, Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque on the podium to receive their trophies for clinching the LMP2 win in the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours

United Autosports has frequently signed accomplished guest drivers to compete in the team's racecars at key events, including Fernando Alonso, Mark Blundell, David Brabham, Martin Brundle, Eddie Cheever, Paul di Resta, Johnny Herbert, Stefan Johansson, Arie Luyendyk, Juan Pablo Montoya, Bruno Senna and Markus Winkelhock. The squad's driver line-ups have also featured some of the top up-and-coming professional racing drivers, such as Brendon Hartley, Alex Lynn and Lando Norris.

HistoryEdit

2010Edit

 
United Autosports secured the LMP2 class win in the Le Mans 24 Hours, delayed from June until September 2020, and thereby also took the WEC LMP2 title

The team's best results in 2010 were podium finishes in the 2010 FIA GT3 European Championship,[31][32] 24 Hours of Spa,[33][34] 2010 1000 km of Zhuhai[35][36] and the Macau Grand Prix.[37][38]

2011Edit

 
United Autosports secured the 2020 ELMS LMP3 Championship with drivers Wayne Boyd, Tom Gamble and Rob Wheldon

The team partnered with Michael Shank Racing for the 2011 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, finishing fourth in the Daytona prototype class.[39] The Ford Riley Daytona Prototype was driven by Martin Brundle, Mark Blundell, Mark Patterson and Zak Brown.

United Autosports competed in the 2011 British GT Championship with Matt Bell, John Bintcliffe, Jay Palmer and Mike Guasch.[40]

They also contested the FIA GT3 European Championship with Matt Bell, Zak Brown, Joe Osborne and Mark Patterson.[41] That year they also entered 2011 Petit Le Mans, with drivers Mark Patterson, Stefan Johansson and Zak Brown.[42]

2012Edit

In January the team made its début in the Dubai 24 Hours (2012 Results) with two Audi R8 LMS cars.[43] The team also became one of the first customers for the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 and raced two examples in the Blancpain Endurance Series for drivers Zak Brown, Mark Blundell, Mark Patterson, Álvaro Parente, Matt Bell and David Brabham. Although still racing the Audi R8 LMS in the 2012 British GT Championship, they switched to McLarens for the final few rounds of the UK national series. United Autosports gave the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 the model's first win at Snetterton in the British GT Championship with Matt Bell and Charles Bateman behind the wheel.[44] Further British GT Championship wins came for Bell and Bateman at Silverstone and also at Donington Park for Zak Brown and Álvaro Parente.[45]

2013Edit

In 2013, United Autosports once again entered the British GT Championship with two McLaren MP4-12C GT3 cars and their one remaining Audi R8 LMS ultra.[46] Matt Bell and Mark Patterson came second in the championship after scoring three podiums and a win at the final round at Donington Park.[47] They missed out on the title in their Audi by only half a point. However, this was the season when the team won its first championship title, with Jim and Glynn Geddie in their McLaren MP4-12C GT3 as they stormed to victory in the European Supercar Challenge.[48]

2014Edit

The new season saw United Autosports branching out into new territory, and contesting the British Touring Car Championship with a pair of Toyota Avensis Touring Cars and drivers James Cole and Glynn Geddie.[49] The team also entered the 2014 Ginetta GT4 Supercup support race with Luke Davenport and Carl Breeze,[50][51] winning the Team title at the end of the year.[52]

United Autosports contested the GT Cup Championship in 2014[53] and won the overall and GTO Championship with Jim Geddie in his McLaren MP4-12C GT3.[54] They also continued with their Audi R8 LMS ultra in the British GT Championship.[55]

2015Edit

The team returned to the GT Cup Championship in 2015 with the Audi R8 LMS ultra and driver Phil Burgan.[56] They also put plans in place to move into prototype racing with two LMP3 cars in the European Le Mans Series.[57]

2016Edit

United Autosports made the team's début in the European Le Mans Series at Silverstone in April with a pair of Ligier JS P3 sports cars and drivers Alex Brundle, Mike Guasch,[58] Christian England, Mark Patterson, Wayne Boyd[59] and Matt Bell. The team won the first three races and scored eight podiums throughout the year, winning both the team and driver championships with one round remaining.[60] The team also entered the inaugural Road to Le Mans race – one of the support races to the Le Mans 24 Hours – with former F1 driver Martin Brundle pairing up with Christian England.[61] Brundle took pole position.[62] American duo Guy Cosmo and Mike Hedlund were behind the wheel of the second Ligier,[63] with Guy Cosmo scoring the fastest lap of the race and setting the LMP3 lap record round the Circuit de la Sarthe.

2017Edit

United Autosports made the team's first appearance in LMP2 by entering a Ligier JS P217 in the 2017 European Le Mans Series.[64] Filipe Albuquerque, Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer scored two race wins[65] – three podiums in total - to finish runners-up in the championship standings.[66] In June, the trio also combined to make United Autosport's Le Mans 24 Hours début, finishing fourth in the LMP2 class (fifth overall).[67] The team also returned with their two Ligier JS P3 sports prototypes and successfully defended its LMP3 ELMS title, courtesy of John Falb and Sean Rayhall (USA).[68][69]

The UK-based team also entered a brace of Ligier LMP3 cars in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, while in support of its Ligier UK business,[70] United Autosports also helped to launch and then raced in the Henderson Insurance LMP3 Cup Championship.[71] American drivers C. J. Wilson and Andrew Evans, along with Tony Wells and United regular, Matt Bell raced the team's Ligier JS P3 sports prototypes.

2018Edit

Through a 25% shareholding in Walkinshaw Andretti United, United Autoports entered the 2018 Supercars Championship.[72][73] The team is co-owned by Ryan Walkinshaw, son of Tom Walkinshaw of Tom Walkinshaw Racing and Michael Andretti's operation Andretti Autosport.

The team signed Formula 1 legend and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso,[74] 2018 McLaren F1 test and reserve driver Lando Norris[75] and ex-F1 and former DTM champion Paul di Resta[76] for the 2018 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. The latter, along with Hugo De Sadeleer, Will Owen and Bruno Senna, finished fourth overall.[77]

Hugo de Sadeleer, Will Owen and Juan Pablo Montoya[78] achieved a third-place finish at Le Mans in their Ligier JS P217[79] while in the ELMS, United recorded fourth (LMP2)[80] and third (LMP3)[81] in the final Team's standings. The Anglo-American team made its début in the 2018–19 Asian Le Mans Series, winning the title outright with LMP2 runners Phil Hanson and Paul Di Resta and claiming second in LMP3.[82]

2019Edit

United was placed fourth in both LMP2[83] and LMP3[84] in the European Le Mans Series Teams Championship, but 2019 marked an important milestone as the team made its full FIA World Endurance Championship entry, with an Oreca 07, for Phil Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque and Paul Di Resta.[85] Podium finishes in Japan and China then a maiden WEC LMP2 class victory in Bahrain[86] saw United close out the year second in the standings with the series continuing into 2020 with three more races, culminating at Le Mans for the 24 Hours in September.

2020Edit

Victory at CoTA in February[87] earned United an early lead in the WEC LMP2 Championship but racing was then suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19 pandemic), the series resuming only in August at Spa, where Hanson, Albuquerque and di Resta emerged victorious once again. The trio followed this with a class victory in the delayed Le Mans 24 Hours in September[88] to clinch the LMP2 Championship with a race to spare.[89] United Autosports began its quest for ELMS title success by winning the LMP2 and LMP3 categories in the opening two races at Paul Ricard[90] and Spa.[91] A return to Paul Ricard for Round 3, the "Le Castellet 240", at the end of August saw a third consecutive victory in LMP2 for United, extending the team's lead.[92] Phill Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque won the European Le Mans Series Championship at Monza clinching the title after winning the race. They became the first drivers to win the WEC, Le Mans 24H and ELMS championships in a single season [93] and United became the first team to win the FIA World Endurance Championship (LMP2), European Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours (LMP2) all in the same year. United Autosports ultimately also secured the ELMS LMP3 Championship for a third time: Wayne Boyd, Tom Gamble and Rob Wheldon won the final four-hour race at Portimão to clinch United's third Team's title in the past five years. The trio achieved three wins, a third place and four poles.[94]

In July 2020 United announced its entry into the Extreme E series with Andretti Autosport, creating a brand new team – Andretti United Extreme E.[95] The British team will partner with US-based Andretti Autosport for an inaugural season of electric, off-road SUV racing in 2021 with Briton Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen, from Sweden, racing for the team. United Autosports will enter the GT4 European Series in 2021 with a brace of McLaren 570S GT4 cars.

Historic racingEdit

Aside from their modern-day racing activities, United Autosports is also involved in historic racing and preparation of historic racing cars. The team's collection of cars spans many decades and race series, and includes the 1991 Senna McLaren MP4/6, 1980 Alan Jones championship-winning Williams FW07 and a 1970 Jackie Stewart March 701. They also maintain and race sports cars such as the 1986 Porsche 962 and the JLP-3 Porsche 935. The team enters many prestigious historic events around the world, including the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,[96] the Le Mans Classic,[97] and the annual Silverstone Classic weekend,[98] among others.

Racing recordEdit

24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit

Year Entrant No Car Drivers Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2017   United Autosports 32 Ligier JS P217-Gibson   Will Owen
  Hugo de Sadeleer
  Filipe Albuquerque
LMP2 362 5th 4th
2018   United Autosports 22 Ligier JS P217-Gibson   Phil Hanson
  Paul di Resta
  Filipe Albuquerque
LMP2 288 DNF DNF
32 Ligier JS P217-Gibson   Hugo de Sadeleer
  Will Owen
  Juan Pablo Montoya
LMP2 365 7th 3rd
2019   United Autosports 22 Ligier JS P217-Gibson   Phil Hanson
  Paul di Resta
  Filipe Albuquerque
LMP2 364 9th 4th
32 Ligier JS P217-Gibson   Ryan Cullen
  Alex Brundle
  Will Owen
LMP2 348 19th 14th
2020   United Autosports 22 Oreca 07-Gibson   Phil Hanson
  Paul di Resta
  Filipe Albuquerque
LMP2 370 5th 1st
32 Oreca 07-Gibson   Will Owen
  Alex Brundle
  Job van Uitert
LMP2 359 17th 13th

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External linksEdit