The Anglo-American team are currently preparing for their debut season with their Ligier JS P217, which they will race in the European Le Mans Series. They will use the same sports prototype in the 56th running of the American endurance event at the start of 2018.
American Will Owen, who is part of the United Autosports LMP2 ELMS team, has been confirmed as the first driver for the 24-hour race. The Rolex 24 At Daytona will mark the second 24-hour race Will and United Autosports will enter in 12 months, as they prepare for the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours in their Ligier JS P217.
United Autosports previously raced in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2011 with Martin Brundle, Mark Blundell, Mark Patterson and Zak Brown behind the wheel of a Riley Ford Daytona Prototype. They finished fourth after 24 hours of racing – less than four seconds behind the winning car.
The 2018 running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will begin on 27 January and is the first race on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar.
United Autosports are reigning ELMS LMP3 Champions and will be aiming to defend their title with a two-car entry in 2017. As a result of their championship win, they were handed an automatic entry into the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours, and will race their Ligier JS P217 in the world-famous endurance race. They will also contest a full season of the ELMS in the LMP2 class with the Ligier JS P217.
Further details of the final driver line up will be announced in due course.
Will Owen, driver, United Autosports:
“I’m excited to bring my endurance racing venture back home to the United States. I have enjoyed working with United a lot so far. I couldn’t think of a better opportunity to begin 2018 with. Although the race is pretty far away at this point, it’s nice to have that extra time to prepare for it. I watched the 2017 race, which was fantastic, so I’m honored to be part of the event. I’ve never raced at Daytona but I appreciate that it will come with new challenges compared to our other races this year.”
Zak Brown, Team Owner and Chairman, United Autosports:
“I’m so excited United Autosports are racing at the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona. It’s such a great event and I’m really proud to be taking our team there with the Ligier JS P217. The last time we went there as a team, I was racing and we finished fourth. Hopefully this time we can get on the podium!”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:
“Zak and I have always wanted United Autosports to compete in the world’s greatest sports car races and the Rolex 24 At Daytona is one we not only want to take part in, but we want to go there and run at the very front. This is an iconic and historic event, I remember going as a kid watching Derek Bell, Brian Redman, Jochen Mass, Bob Wollek and all the sports car greats. We hope that other European teams will bring their LMP2 cars to Florida in January to try take on the USA based teams and drive the competition of this great race.”
Scott Atherton, President, IMSA:
“Following an extremely successful 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona, we are delighted that United Autosports already has confirmed its plans to participate in the 2018 Rolex 24. Zak Brown and Richard Dean clearly have built a world-class race team in United Autosports, which is a prerequisite for success in the Rolex 24 and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. We extend a warm welcome to Will Owen, Zak, Richard and all associated with United Autosports and wish them the best of luck as they embark on this program.”
Source. United Autosports