United Autosports make their way to the south of France this weekend for round three of the European Le Mans Series and round two of the Michelin Le Mans Cup at Paul Ricard.
The LMP2 team will be aiming to build on their early pace shown in Austria, after running first and second for the majority of the first half of the race. The #22 Oreca 07 of Phil Hanson, Jonathan Aberdein and Tom Gamble currently lies third in the championship standings and will be hoping to gain some major points to keep their championship challenge alive. The #32 crew of Job van Uitert, Manuel Maldonado and Nico Jamin will be hoping for some better luck after showing the pace to win during the opening two races but failing to score well as they crossed the line.
Wayne Boyd, Edouard Cauhaupe and Rob Wheldon in the #2 Ligier JS P320 also need a good result this weekend to get their championship campaign back on track before heading into the second half of the season. Jim McGuire, Duncan Tappy and Andrew Bentley in the #3 AERO Ligier will be aiming to repeat Duncan’s pole position from Barcelona giving them the best chance of a top result in France.
United Autosports will welcome the Michelin Le Mans Cup team back to the paddock for the first time since Barcelona. They currently lie first and second in the championship standings with Gerry Kraut and Scott Andrews leading the way in the #22 Ligier JS P320 and John Schauerman and Wayne Boyd sitting seven points further back in second in the #23 Ligier. Daniel Schneider and Andy Meyrick will be aiming to put some points on the board in France, after a crash ended their race abruptly in Spain.
Last year, the ELMS visited Paul Ricard twice, with United Autosports winning both races on their way to sealing both the LMP2 and LMP3 championship titles.
“It’s always nice to return to a track where my most recent memory is of winning. So far this season we haven’t been able to a convert the pace we have had in ELMS into victory, but as anticipation builds, we are getting closer to making it a reality.”
“I’m very much looking forward to heading down to sunny south of France. I think we have a lot of confidence going into the weekend despite the disappointing results at Red Bull Ring. We know we have a fast car so all we need to do is execute a mistake free weekend.”
“I’m really looking forward to heading to Paul Ricard, it’s one of my favourite tracks and I can’t wait to get there. We had a difficult race in Red Bull Ring so I’m determined to make up for it this time around and will be pushing hard to get our maiden win of the year.”
Job van Uitert
“Red Bull Ring did not go well and definitely didn’t go as we wanted so I’m hoping Paul Ricard will be better. The #32 car won the opening race of the season last year at Paul Ricard so fingers crossed we can replicate that again this year.”
“We are back racing this weekend at Paul Ricard. The goal remains the same and I can’t wait to get to work this weekend.”
“I’m very excited for my home race at Circuit Paul Ricard. Everyone on the #32 car has been working hard to turn things around and start collecting trophies. We’ve had the speed, now it’s time to execute everything perfectly.”
“I’m really looking forward to Paul Ricard and to get our championship back on track. For the last two races the team have given us the fastest car to win both races, but we’ve just been really unlucky. We won here last year so we’ll pushing for a repeat of that.”
“We need to have a perfect race at Le Castellet and to score the maximum points possible after the start of the season we have had. It is my home race and I want to be on the first step of the podium. I can’t wait to be on track.”
“After what can only described as a less than ideal start to our 2021 season, I can only hope Paul Ricard will be where we will bring back the result that both Austria and Barcelona should have been. It’s going to be a tough fight to retain the title, but with the pace that we have shown, there is no reason to believe that we are out of the title hunt just yet. Paul Ricard is a challenging circuit, but it did bring a race victory for us in 2020, and although not my favourite circuit on the calendar, it is one I am sure we will hit the ground running at.”
“I can’t wait to get back racing with United Autosports in Le Castellet in our AERO liveried Ligier LMP3. Paul Ricard is an exceptional circuit and lots fun in the P3. Duncan, Andrew and I have shown good pace we just need to put it all together and push for a top-five finish.”
“I’m looking forward to heading back to Paul Ricard. Last year we had a very strong race, finishing 2nd. So we know we have good pace there. The first two races have been tough. Hopefully in Paul Ricard it will be a little more straightforward and we can have a good result!”
“I’m really looking forward to going to Paul Ricard. We were there twice last year and we got our best result in the #3 car there in changeable conditions, so it holds good memories for us. The season maybe hasn’t gone as well as we’d hoped so far, but we are all working really hard to make good progress in the races. We are very strong in testing and qualifying but we haven’t managed to pull it altogether in the races so far unfortunately. We will be focusing on the race ahead and chasing that podium.”
Michelin Le Mans Cup
#22 Gerry Kraut
“I’ve never raced at Paul Ricard so it’s going to be a learning weekend for me, but one I’m looking forward to.”
#22 Scott Andrews
“Paul Ricard is another new track for myself and Gerry, but I know we have a great car and team around us to help with the learning curve.”
#23 John Schauerman
“I’m very excited for the next Le Mans Cup race at Paul Ricard. We had a great result in Barcelona with our first podium and are keeping the momentum going. Our engineers and mechanics did an awesome job giving us a great car and with pit stop strategy and execution, which was key in getting our result. As always, Wayne Boyd ran another good race. Our pace was strong, and we will be working hard to repeat that result at Le Castellet.”
#23 Wayne Boyd
“I can’t wait to get going again with John in the Michelin Le Mans Cup. We got our first podium together at round one leaving us second in the championship, which is a great start. I believe we can challenge for wins and more podiums this year so that will be our aim for Ricard.”
#32 Daniel Schneider
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get off on the right foot at Barcelona but Paul Ricard could hopefully be the turning point. It’s a circuit that both me and Andy like and we were fast and consistent there last year getting a podium finish. I’m really looking forward to going back.”
#32 Andy Meyrick
“We had a podium at Paul Ricard last year so I’m hopeful we can replicate that when we head back this week. I’m really excited to get back behind the wheel of the Ligier. It feels like ages since we were last on track at Barcelona so I’m eager to get to France to see what we can do.”
Source. United Autosports