United Autosports head to Sebring this weekend for the first round of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship – the 1000 miles of Sebring.
The 2020 WEC LMP2 Champions will be entering two Oreca 07 LMP2 cars for the first time in the world championship, after previously running a single car for their first two years in the championship.
The #22 Oreca 07 will see Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque return to the team for their third year in the FIA WEC. They will be joined by Will Owen who will return to United Autosports after a year away from racing. Phil and Filipe scored two wins in the FIA WEC last season and four wins in 2020, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, on their way to the 2020 LMP2 Championship. Will last raced for the team in the European Le Mans Series in 2020 but has been part of United Autosports since they made their LMP2 debut in 2017.
The #23 Oreca 07 will be driven by 16-year-old Josh Pierson, who joins the WEC grid for his debut year. He will be joined by sportscar superstar Oliver Jarvis and, for the Sebring race, Paul Di Resta, who will stand in for Josh’s full season teammate, Alex Lynn. Josh and Paul joined forces last month to enter in the final two races of the Asian Le Mans Series in Abu Dhabi, winning both races by over a lap to their competitors.
The FIA World Endurance Championship returns to Sebring for the first time since the race was cancelled at the last minute in 2020 due to growing concerns around the coronavirus pandemic. The official two-day Prologue will take place this weekend (12-13 March) ahead of the official race weekend getting underway the following week (17-18 March). United Autosports will also be entering the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring the same weekend with the #22 Oreca 07 of Jim McGuire, Guy Smith and Duncan Tappy.
The FIA World Endurance Championship 1000 miles of Sebring race gets underway on Friday 18 March at 12:00 EST / 17:00 UK.
“Sebring is such a cool event and venue and it’s great to be kicking off the WEC season there. This year is incredibly important for us, especially after not having the best end to the 2021 season, when we started strongly. The team are very motivated to get our LMP2 Championship title back and we have all the ingredients to make that happen but I’m sure there’s a lot of other teams that are thinking the same thing. By no means is it going to be easy, but we are motivated and ready to fight hard this season.”
“I can’t wait to get to Sebring to start the 2022 WEC campaign with United. I’ll be with Phil Hanson again and Will Owen will be back with the team. I’ve always enjoyed working with Will and after his year out, I think he is even more motivated than ever. I think we have a great chance at the victory in all the races but let’s see how it goes. Sebring can be wild, but the motivation is high and I’d like to think we are one of the contenders once again for the title.”
“I can’t wait to be in the car in Sebring. My experience at Daytona prepared me well for the WEC season and also validated that returning to racing was the right choice. It also gave me a clear list of things I need to improve on going into the important first round of the WEC season. It’s great to be driving with Filipe and Phil, and of course a pleasure to be back with United.”
“After our recent success in Abu Dhabi, I’m really looking forward to getting back in the #23 car at Sebring. Although I’ll have my hands full with IMSA and WEC I think it’s going to be a really enjoyable and eventful weekend. Paul and Oliver are ready, and I can’t wait to see what we can do as a team.”
“I can’t wait to get the season started at Sebring. It’s a fantastic circuit to open the FIA World Endurance Championship season, but also extremely tough and demanding. With competition in LMP2 the highest it has ever been in WEC, we are not underestimating the task ahead of us. It will be important to score good points at the opening race, as the ultimate goal is a championship win at the end of the year. My teammates and I am confident that with United we have all the tools necessary to make a championship win a reality.”
Paul Di Resta:
“I’m looking forward to doing the WEC race at Sebring because we missed it a couple of years ago when it was cancelled last minute. It’s a difficult track but I think for the first round of the championship it’s a good one. Off the back of the wins we had in Abu Dhabi it will be good to head into the first round with Josh and build on the preparation we started out there. I think he’s had a good couple of weeks to think about it all heading into Sebring. It’s good to have the prologue before the race weekend too to get to grips with the car again. But as ever I’m looking forward to getting back to the team and working with everyone. Hopefully we can have a good race and get a good start for the team ahead of the rest of their season.”
“The team are ready to hit the ground running in Sebring for the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Our aim is to reclaim our championship from 2020 and now we have two awesome line ups to do that with, I’m confident we will start the year well.”
“I’m excited to get to Sebring and get the FIA WEC season underway. We love Sebring, it’s such a brilliant but difficult track. This year will be our first season running two cars and we have two fantastic line ups who I know will both be battling for race wins and the championship. That’s the ultimate aim, to get back our championship from 2020.”
Source. United Autosports