Will Owen is set for his IMSA WetherTech SportsCar Championship debut, with the former Mazda Road to Indy star confirmed in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson for this weekend’s round at Long Beach.
The Colorado native will join full-season driver Tom Kimber-Smith at the wheel of the LMP2 machine, filling the TBA driver slot in the Bobby Oergel-led squad’s lineup for the third round of the season.
Owen already has prior experience with the Ligier, as the 21-year-old is set to take part in the European Le Mans Series with United Autosports and is fresh off a productive two-day test at Monza with the Anglo-American team.
“The opportunity to run my first IMSA race came very quickly, but I am so glad we have made it work out with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports,” said Owen.
“Right away I have got to thank Sanger Family Wines and Solaris Aviation for making it possible.
“This is the same car that I have been driving in Europe, so it will be an easy transition back to the U.S. for one weekend especially because I have worked with PR1 before.
“This event is going to give me valuable racing experience ahead of my ELMS debut in Silverstone since it will be my first race in the LMP2 car. This new Ligier JSP2 17 is so quick, that any laps I can get are priceless.
“I also believe though that we have a real chance to finish at the top.
“My teammate Tom Kimber-Smith and I are going to be pushing for a win and nothing else. I’m also thankful to be running on the Long Beach circuit, I’ve watched the race so many times on TV. I can’t believe I’m about to take part in it!
“It’s been a rush putting everything together for this race, but because of the help I have had from Speed Group and many others it has been made possible.”
It’s understood Owen’s Long Beach deal is currently a one-off, with Jose Gutierrez, who was confirmed for an eight-race program with the team, set to return for the next round at Circuit of The Americas in May.