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United Autosports Targeting Second Ligier LMP2 for Daytona

United Autosports working on second Ligier LMP2 entry for Daytona…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

United Autosports could expand its presence for January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona beyond its already confirmed Ligier JS P217 Gibson, with efforts underway to secure a second entry, according to team co-owner Zak Brown.

Brown has revealed that the Anglo-American team is pushing to be on the grid with a second Ligier LMP2 car, as part of an initiative from Onroak Automotive.

“We don’t have anything confirmed but we’re working on it,” Brown told Sportscar365. “We would like to do it.

“We’d need a second car for starters. Ligier has a strong interest in us going there and have they have cars.

“It’s just a classic case of getting the right driver lineup and funding together.

“But it’s something Ligier wants us to do. And we are now a Ligier works team. They’d like to see some more LMP2 cars in America, so we’re working with Ligier on that.”

The team, which will make its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut in next year’s season-opener, has already confirmed Will Owen and rising open-wheel star Lando Norris as drivers.

Brown has revealed they’ve been in discussions with a number of high-profile drivers, including former Formula One World Champion Jenson Button, about a possible drive as well.

Button has also been linked to Team Penske’s Acura DPi effort.

“We’ve spoken to Jenson and have spoken to a bunch of others,” Brown said. “Other than Lando [and Will], who we have announced, we have not made any final driver decisions.

“Jenson is close to the family, so to speak. If he wants to do it, we’d love to have him in our car. But he’s yet to decide what he wants to race next year.”

Despite the strength of the Prototype class, particularly with new DPi efforts from Team Penske and Joest Racing, Brown still feels United could fight for the overall win at Daytona.

The team has two European Le Mans Series victories to its credit this year and currently sits second in the LMP2 title race, coming in its first season in the category.

“I think it’s going to be one of the most competitive 24 hours of Daytona that I can ever remember,” Brown said.

“You’ve got Penske, Joest, Cadillac, Action Express, United and others. You’re going to have 10-15 prototypes capable of winning that race with some of the best teams in the world.

“I think the competition is going to be unbelievably hard. But we always try to bring our A game. So I don’t think it’s going to make us try harder.”

While Daytona is so far the only confirmed WeatherTech Championship race for the team, Brown said they haven’t ruled out at least one additional race, although admitted it would come down to scheduling.

“Sebring is under evaluation,” he said. “It’s something we’d like to do but our priority is the ELMS and we have to make sure [Sebring] wouldn’t compromise our winter testing program.”

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

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Slicks in the wet

    August 30, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I’d rather one car for more races than two cars for one race.

    • jack

      August 30, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      its two separate programs.

  2. Jorden

    August 30, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Wow, Daytona could have a prototype field north of 15 cars, all of which could win! That’s really great for IMSA and I’m incredibly excited to see the series continue to grow.

    • jack

      August 30, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      its two separate programs. if its not north of 15 it will be a disappointment to the series.

  3. Overtake24

    August 30, 2017 at 11:55 am

    I can’t wait until silly season starts. Even though the racing season is over I always look forward to it.

  4. Pete

    August 30, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Just based upon a quick skim over all the teams expressing interest in either coming from Europe or moving up from PC, I’m counting in the ballpark of 20-25 prototypes on the Rolex grid. That would be freaking epic.

  5. Jenner

    August 30, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Zac Brown needs to get Danica Patrick and Milka Duno to drive his second car.

    That’ll put asses in the stands.

    • Welp

      August 31, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      So two people that hate eachother, one of which is absolutely awful in a car together?

      • Larry

        August 31, 2017 at 7:38 pm

        At least Milka can drive, is hot as hell, has a nice rack, and is very friendly, all of which is a complete opposite of Danica.

        On top of which, Milka is very educated, speaks at least 5 languages, and is not some dumb broad.

        • Welp

          September 1, 2017 at 8:45 am

          Milka is shower then Danica you know that right? She was like 5secs of the pace at every road course

    • Libertarian

      August 31, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Racing series have made stupid decisions by making untalented “diversity drivers” the face of their series. The Indy 500 broadcast was nearly unwatchable between 2005-2011 because of it. The focus on “diversity drivers”, the emphasis on equal outcomes through managed spec racing, and the assault on the automobile by those sympathetic to the green movement has caused damage to motorsports across the board.

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