United Autosports has confirmed the first driver for its Rolex 24 at Daytona effort in 2018, naming Will Owen to its Ligier JS P217 Gibson for next year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.
As revealed by Sportscar365 in November, the Anglo-American squad will take on the Florida endurance classic as part of an already confirmed 14-month plan with the Onroak Automotive-designed LMP2 car that includes a full-season European Le Mans Series program and debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Owen is part of the team’s ELMS and Le Mans lineup for this year and will join Hugo de Sadeleer and Filipe Albuquerque at the wheel of the prototype.
All three drivers coming off a productive pre-season test in Portimao earlier this month.
“I’m excited to bring my endurance racing venture back home to the United States,” Owen said. “I have enjoyed working with United a lot so far. I couldn’t think of a better opportunity to begin 2018 with.
“Although the race is pretty far away at this point, it’s nice to have that extra time to prepare for it.”
It will mark the team’s second Rolex 24 appearance, having finished fourth overall in 2011 in a Michael Shank Racing-assisted Riley-Ford DP with drivers Zak Brown, Mark Patterson, Mark Blundell and Martin Brundle.
“Zak and I have always wanted United Autosports to compete in the world’s greatest sports car races and the Rolex 24 At Daytona is one we not only want to take part in, but we want to go there and run at the very front,” said team owner and managing director Richard Dean.
“This is an iconic and historic event, I remember going as a kid watching Derek Bell, Brian Redman, Jochen Mass, Bob Wollek and all the sports car greats.
“We hope that other European teams will bring their LMP2 cars to Florida in January to try take on the USA based teams and drive the competition of this great race.”