United Autosports will skip next weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen due to its Bronze-rated driver Jim McGuire ruled out of taking part in the event because of an upcoming medical procedure.
Team co-owner and managing director Richard Dean confirmed to Sportscar365 that the Anglo-American squad will forgo the third round of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup that was originally set to feature McGuire, Duncan Tappy and Phil Hanson.
McGuire, the founder and CEO of AERO Advanced Paint Technology, took part in last weekend’s Road to Le Mans races but has scheduled back surgery for this week.
“He is going in for a back operation,” Dean told Sportscar365. “He’ll tell you that he’s probably been putting off an operation for a little while.
“I think driving an LMP2 at Sebring probably hasn’t helped. If your surgeon was going to tell you things not to do, rodeo and driving an LMP2 car at Sebring are probably top of the list.
“He’s in some discomfort and he needs to get it started so he’s had to pick a time. It should have been last week but he doesn’t want to miss this race.
“So he’s going to go straight in from [Le Mans] and have the operation. So that will mean that we miss Watkins Glen.”
Dean said he’s informed IMSA President John Doonan and is disappointed not to contest the full four-round Endurance Cup season as originally planned.
“I really want to do the complete four but again, but the nature of the regulations, when it’s a mandated Bronze, you have [limited] options,” he said.
“The Bronze guys, they have other things in their life other than racing… So we’re going to miss Watkins Glen, and we’ll see how that goes and hopefully we’ll be back for Petit.”
McGuire is expected to make his return to WeatherTech Championship competition at the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans, if all goes to plan with the procedure.
“His recovery schedule looks like it’s possible,” said Dean. “I’m absolutely certain his surgeon will say that you shouldn’t be doing it, but Jim will measure that risk versus reward if he feels that the surgery was successful.”
United Looking to Maintain North American Presence
Dean has expressed a desire to at least maintain its current North American presence, if not put further roots down, should there be an opportunity to expand into a full-season program in the future.
The team has been actively pursuing manufacturer-based opportunities in the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship and hasn’t ruled out possibilities of competing in the WeatherTech Championship’s GTP class either.
“We’ve had a very modest investment into the program in the States – truck, kit equipment,” Dean said. “We’re sharing a bit of space at our workshop.
“But the next step, if we get a full project, is to invest in a facility. Not the size that we’ve got in the UK, but something that we can be proud of and call home and operate from and have some permanent staff there.
“At the moment, we’re still very much a commuting team, with a facility where we can send our truck and unload in.
“So the next level of investments is in the facility, but we can only do that if we get a full project.”