The Road to Le Mans race is the second round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup, meaning regular drivers Richard Meins and Shaun Lynn will pilot the #23 Gulf Marine-liveried Ligier JS P3 and Jim McGuire and Matt Bell will race the #22 AERO Ligier JS P3. Silverstone ELMS LMP3 race winners John Falb and Sean Rayhall will also enter the Road to Le Mans event, taking the Anglo-American team’s total to three cars.
Last year, United Autosports entered the Road to Le Mans race with former Formula One driver Martin Brundle and ELMS LMP3 Champion, Christian England. Brundle scored pole position for the team and finished second with England, while the sister car of Guy Cosmo and Mike Hedlund finished fifth, setting the Le Mans LMP3 lap record in the process.
This year, there will be two one-hour races – the first being held on Thursday 15 June and the second held the morning of the 24-hour race on Saturday 17 June.
United Autosports will also be making their debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with their Ligier JS P217, taking the total number of Ligiers in United colours for this week up to four.
John Falb (US), driver #2, United Autosports:
Born: Dallas, Texas. Lives: Las Vegas, Nevada. Age: 45
“To me the most special race in the world is the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I am especially passionate about this event, the track and the history of the race. One of the great things about LMP3 is the opportunity to race in the Road to Le Mans event hours before the tricolors drop for the start of the 24. Last year, I wasn’t able to race with Sean but I still found my way to the podium and it was certainly a very special racing moment. This year, we get to race for twice as long and my teammate will be joining me and boosting our performance. I hope to make significant personal improvements and will be looking to be on the top step this year. It is also going to be a special event to see our team compete in the 24-hour in LMP2.
Sean Rayhall (US), driver #2, United Autosports:
Born/Lives: Atlanta, Georgia. Age: 22
“I’m extremely excited to enter to the Road to Le Mans race with United Autosports. John did a flawless job there last year and it’s very special for me to have the opportunity to compete on this legendary circuit. It’s a dream come true having the chance to race there and we will be as prepared as possible to go for it.”
Jim McGuire (US), driver car #22, United Autosports:
Born: New York, USA. Lives: San Francisco, USA. Age: 56
“The Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans is just an absolutely epic circuit and an epic event. As an American, I’m thrilled to take part in the Road to Le Mans race this year. The car feels good, the AERO livery looks fantastic and United Autosports is such an awesome team, so it will be a real treat to drive the Ligier JS P3 machine through the 13.6 km French circuit in front of all the fans. I can’t wait!”
Matt Bell (GB), driver car #22, United Autosports:
Born: Newcastle, UK. Lives: Stamford, UK. Age: 27
“It’s the first time I will drive an LMP3 car round Le Mans and any excuse to drive at Le Mans is a good one. We had a tricky weekend at Monza so we are looking to build on that for the season. It will be Jim’s first time at Le Mans so the aim will be to get him comfortable with the circuit and we are looking forward to the challenge. The Le Mans 24 Hours weekend is the biggest weekend so I just can’t wait to be part of it.”
Richard Meins (GB), driver car #23, United Autosports:
Born: London, UK. Lives: Surrey, UK. Age: 62
“It doesn’t get any bigger than driving a Gulf liveried sports car at Le Mans does it? It’s not just about a great car on a mega circuit but also the sense of occasion and atmosphere which will make this an unforgettable experience.”
Shaun Lynn (GB), driver car #23, United Autosports:
Born: Tripoli, Libya. Lives: Essex, UK. Age: 54
“I’m really excited for the Road to Le Mans races. It’s a privilege to race at such an iconic circuit, which hosts the second round of our Michelin Le Mans Cup season. Although we usually race for two hours, I’m looking forward to the two one-hour races format. The grid is looking very competitive, but I’m looking forward to seeing what Richard and I can do.”
Zak Brown, Team Owner and Chairman, United Autosports:
“We had a great weekend last year at the inaugural Road to Le Mans event and I’m sure this year will be no exception. It’s fantastic that the LMP3 cars get to race on the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours circuit, just hours before the main race begins. I’m pleased John and Sean could join this event too, racing alongside our usual Michelin Le Mans Cup guys, Jim, Matt, Richard and Shaun. I’m looking forward to seeing how we get on.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:
“I’m looking forward to going back to Le Mans and entering the Road to Le Mans race. It’s a great event for those drivers wanting to race on the full 24-hour circuit, without having to find the budget to race in the 24 hours itself. It’s round two of the Michelin Le Mans Cup for Richard, Shaun, Jim and Matt so it will be good to see how they get on. Having our ELMS LMP3 pairing of John and Sean join us too is great – I’m hoping we will have a great weekend.”
Source. United Autosports