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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

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