The UK based team will be hoping to repeat their 2016 and 2017 race winning efforts on home soil. In 2016, the team made their LMP3 debut, taking victory at the Northamptonshire circuit. They then went on to win on their LMP2 debut the following year, where they also, once again, won the LMP3 class.
Last time out at Red Bull Ring, Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque finished third in the #22 Ligier JS P217 after a tough race for both them and their sister LMP2 car of Will Owen, Hugo de Sadeleer and Wayne Boyd (#32).
The LMP3 team also suffered terrible fortunes at the Red Bull Ring as John Falb and Sean Rayhall notched up their first DNF in the #2 Ligier JS P3 after an engine failure while in second place cut their race short. Tony Wells, Matt Bell and Garett Grist also struggled in Austria, ultimately finishing 12th in the #3 Ligier.
As in previous years, the Silverstone ELMS round is the support race to the World Endurance Championship, meaning the four-hour race will be staged on Saturday afternoon. There will be no Michelin Le Mans Cup race this weekend either. They will be back on track at Spa in September.
The Silverstone ELMS race weekend begins on Friday 17 August with Free Practice 1 at 10:35. Free Practice 2 will follow at 14:45. On Saturday 18 August, qualifying begins at 11:25 with the Four Hours of Silverstone race starting at 14:30 later that day.
Phil Hanson (GB), driver #22, United Autosports:
Born/Lives: London, UK. Age: 19
“I’m really looking forward to being back on home ground at a track with so much character. I wouldn’t say that I have an advantage seeing as it’s my home track as I’m still as new to Silverstone as I am to the other tracks on the calendar. That said it’s nice to be able to stay at home closer to the race and feel very comfortable in my surroundings entering this weekend. United Autosports have been very successful here in the past years and I hope I can contribute to their success this weekend.”
Filipe Albuquerque (POR), driver #22, United Autosports:
Born/Lives: Coimbra, Portugal. Age: 32
“Silverstone is among my favourite tracks around the world and I have been pretty happy with the results I’ve achieved there as well. I won the last two races – 2016 in WEC and 2017 in ELMS with United, taking the lead on the last lap. This year ELMS is even more competitive so once again we have to do a perfect race and hopefully move two places further up the podium than the last race.”
Will Owen (US), driver #32, United Autosports:
Born: Plano, Texas. Lives: Denver, Colorado. Age: 23
“It’s exciting to return to Silverstone for United Autosports’ home race. We have some sweet memories here as last year we had our first ELMS win at this track. Personally, and as a team, we have improved so much since then, but there is no guarantee we will be easily at the top. We will have to work very hard to maximize our car’s pace to be at the top of this event. If we can do that, we will have a chance at the podium.”
Hugo de Sadeleer (CH), driver #32, United Autosports:
Born: Lausanne, Switzerland. Lives: Monaco. Age: 21
“Silverstone is United Autosports home track and a race we’re looking forward to because of the amazing results we achieved last year, but also because everyone’s friends and families come to watch so there is a great atmosphere.”
Wayne Boyd (GB), driver #32, United Autosports:
Born: Belfast, Northern Ireland. Lives: Templepatrick, Northern Ireland. Age: 27
“Silverstone is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar. The fast corners, especially the Maggots and Becketts section are some of the best in the world, in an LMP2 car they will be unbelievable. It’s always a good event with it being United’s home circuit, so there’s always lots of guests there to support us. Hopefully we can put on a good showing for them.”
John Falb (US), driver #2, United Autosports:
Born: Dallas, Texas. Lives: Las Vegas, Nevada. Age: 46
“Red Bull Ring turned out to be a real bummer after very little time in the car and our first DNF in the #2. I love Silverstone with its super-fast turns and the flow the track creates. I know we will be on top of our game so a little good luck would certainly be a nice assist!”
Sean Rayhall (US), driver #2, United Autosports:
Born/Lives: Atlanta, Georgia. Age: 23
“I’m so excited to get back to Silverstone with our United Autosports machine. After this year’s roller coaster of emotions and I think after our performance last year, this will be the best place to shake off our bad luck and get our car another ELMS podium.”
Tony Wells (GB), driver #3, United Autosports:
Born: Middlesbrough, UK Lives: Northumberland, UK Age: 53
“We had a tough outing at Red Bull Ring, but we are hoping our home race at Silverstone will turn out better for us. The team have been working hard since Austria and they won at Silverstone the last two years, so fingers crossed we can also fight to win a third in a row for them.”
Garett Grist (CAN), driver car #3, United Autosports:
Born: St. Catherine’s, Canada. Lives: Grimsby, Canada. Age: 22
“I think Silverstone will be a good weekend for us. It’s the home race for the team and both of my team mates. Being Canadian I’ll consider this a half home race for me. Unfortunately, Austria didn’t turn out how we thought it might have, it had the potential to be a Monza kind of result. We have been executing well, we just need to find a little pace. Everyone has been working hard to push for more podiums and some wins.”
Matt Bell (GB), driver car #3, United Autosports:
Born: Newcastle, UK. Lives: Stamford, UK. Age: 28
“This year so far has been difficult. We’ve been struggling to find performance but we have gone well at Silverstone in the past and the team has worked incredible hard on getting to the bottom of our issues since Red Bull Ring. We are going to the Silverstone round hoping to be back where United should be. The championship challenge is still achievable at this point so we are targeting nothing but a win to keep that momentum going.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:
“Silverstone is a fantastic circuit. We won there on our LMP3 debut in 2016 and won on our LMP2 debut in 2017 so we have a good track record to keep up. It’s been a difficult year so far. The competition has massively stepped up and we have been unlucky when in race-winning positions. Our aim, as always, is to win as we will do our very best to put on a good show for the home crowd.”
Zak Brown, Team Owner and Chairman, United Autosports:
“We love racing at Silverstone. We’ve had some good races in ELMS at this circuit, winning on both our LMP3 and LMP2 debuts, so hopefully this year is no exception.”
Source. United Autosports