UNITED AUTOSPORTS CONFIRM LE MANS 24 HOURS AND EUROPEAN LE MANS SERIES LMP2 LINE UP
United Autosports have confirmed the first two drivers for their European Le Mans Series LMP2 team.
Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer have joined the reigning ELMS LMP3 championship winning team for their debut LMP2 season. Will and Hugo will also be racing at the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours in June as part of the agreement.
American, Will Owen began karting at the age of 15, quickly moving into single seater racing. He has previously competed in the USF2000 Championship, winning in Indianapolis and scoring multiple top-10 finishes in his debut year. Most recently, Will has been racing in the Pro Mazda Championship.
Swiss-born Hugo de Sadeleer also comes from a single seater racing background, having most recently raced in the 2016 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 – one of the support races to the ELMS. Hugo has previously tested with United Autosports in one of their Ligier JS P3 sports prototypes at Estoril, Portugal at the end of last year.
Will and Hugo will be joined by an as yet unconfirmed third driver in the United Autosports Ligier JS P217.
United Autosports have already confirmed their two-car ELMS LMP3 drivers, by announcing American pairing, John Falb and Sean Rayhall at the end of the 2016 season, with the announcement last week that Mark Patterson, Wayne Boyd and Christian England will remain with the team for 2017.
United Autosports will be at the Autosport International Show for the remainder of this week as part of the Ligier UK stand – hall 20, stand 2400 (adjacent to the main stage). The 2017 European Le Mans Series will begin with the official prologue at Monza, Italy on 28-29 March.
Will Owen, driver, United Autosports:
“I am so excited to be a part of the United Autosports LMP2 team. 2017 is shaping up to be a fantastic year and I am very thankful to have this opportunity to race in the European Le Mans Series with such an experienced and professional team. There is going to be great competition this year in the LMP2 category and we are all going to learn so much but I also know everyone on the team is pushing to win. It is a dream come true to be able to go race at circuits like Silverstone, Monza, Spa and Le Mans. It has been a goal of mine to race at the Le Mans 24 Hours but I never thought I would make it this early in my racing career. It is an honour to be a part of an event with such deep history.
All the races are important though, and with the new Ligier JS P217 that Onroak Automotive has built, we will be putting up a big fight at every event. I’d like to thank Richard Dean and Zak Brown for giving me this fantastic opportunity with their team, and I’d also like to thank everyone from back home that has helped me so far to get to this point. Time to get to work!”
Hugo de Sadeleer, driver, United Autosports:
“I am excited and hopeful about taking this huge step from single-seater racing to endurance racing. The ELMS will be a thrilling challenge; if I look back to a year ago, I would never have imagined myself transitioning to such an impressive machine. I am honoured to be joining such a distinguished team too. It was by chance that I met with United Autosports last season and they gave me the incredible opportunity to prove myself in their winning LMP3 car. I am very grateful for their belief in me and hope our partnership will lead to success. The Le Mans 24 Hours always felt like just a dream but the fact that it has become a reality is beyond belief. The history of Le Mans, as well as competing against drivers that I look up to, is something I am very proud to be a part of.”
Zak Brown, Team Owner and Chairman, United Autosports:
“It’s going to be great having Hugo and Will as part of our LMP2 driver line up. Hugo tested our LMP3 car at the end of last year and did an excellent job and I have followed Will for a while now with his racing in America. I have high expectations for both of them. I’m so excited that United Autosports will be racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The team had a great year in 2016, winning the LMP3 championship so I’m confident we can carry the momentum onto 2017. Now we need to finish our driver line up. We know who we want and are just putting our finishing touches together to get our entire programme in place.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:
“I’m really pleased Will and Hugo are joining the United family for our debut year in LMP2 racing. The decision to race in LMP2 came quite late at the end of last year. Once it was confirmed we would have an entry into the Le Mans 24 Hours after winning the LMP3 championship, we decided to go ahead and planned to race in the LMP2 category, alongside our existing LMP3 commitments. It’s taken a lot of work in a short space of time to pull it all together, but I’m excited for what we’ve got going on this year.”