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United Autosports Completes Paul Ricard Test with Di Resta, Norris

Paul Di Resta, Lando Norris on first laps in United Autosports Ligier JS P217 Gibson…

United Autosports has completed a two-day pre-Daytona preparation test at Paul Ricard, which saw Paul Di Resta and Lando Norris both get their first experience in a LMP2 car.

The two open-wheel standouts turned laps in the team’s pair of Ligier JS P217 Gibsons alongside Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque, as the Anglo-American squad prepares for its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut in January’s Rolex 24.

“It’s been a good opportunity for Lando and Paul to acclimatize themselves with the Ligier for the very first time,” said team co-owner Zak Brown.

“By all accounts, both did a very good job, which comes as no great surprise to me. It was also beneficial for them to have Filipe and Phil on hand to pass on their experience of an LMP2 car.”

Recently signed McLaren F1 test and reserve driver, Norris, reportedly impressed in his first sports car experience.

The 17-year-old will join Hanson and two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso in one of the team’s two entries for Daytona.

“The Ligier is fun to drive and Daytona will be a blast!” Norris said. “Running was limited and it’s a case of building my confidence in the car – I just need more miles which I’ll get at the Roar.”

Di Resta, meanwhile, was only able to take part in the opening day of the test as the Williams F1 reserve driver departed for the Brazilian Grand Prix on Wednesday.

“It was an interesting and good experience to see what the LMP2 Ligier is all about as the Rolex event is not that far away,” he said.

“It’s definitely a fun car to drive. It was the first time I have ever shared a car on a test day and despite the height difference with Lando, we worked well together, and it was really a good, fun day.”

The team will not take part in next month’s IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona but will be at the Roar Before the Rolex 24, which is mandatory for all teams competing in the race.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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