United Autosports is set to return to the Asian Le Mans Series next season after announcing a two-car program with LMP3-class Ligier JS P320 Nissans.
The U.K-based team chose not to defend its 2018-19 LMP2 title in the most recent season held between last November and February this year, but has now confirmed plans to come back for the 2021 campaign which is being held at Yas Marina Circuit next February.
Bronze-rated American Jim McGuire, who drove for United in three rounds of this year’s European Le Mans Series LMP3 campaign, is the first confirmed driver.
McGuire was a part of the team’s LMP3 driver lineup for the 2018-19 season when it ran two Ligiers in both prototype categories.
On that occasion, Paul di Resta and Phil Hanson won the LMP2 drivers’ title, while United’s LMP3 crews finished second and fourth in their championship.
United Autosports managing director Richard Dean recently told Sportscar365 that the new Abu Dhabi-based season, which replaces an initial plan to hold four races between Buriram in Thailand and Sepang in Malaysia, would be attractive for European teams.
The team and McGuire have experience running at Yas Marina Circuit having contested last year’s Gulf 12 Hours together with a Ligier JS P3 Nissan.
“There are still some details to sort out, but the organizers have made every effort to keep teams safe, while also being able to race,” Dean said following confirmation of United’s 2021 Asian series plans.
“Each race will be something different too – racing in the daytime, nighttime, dusk, etc. So there will still be plenty to challenge our drivers. I’m thrilled Jim has joined the team already.
“It will be good for him, our drivers and the whole team, to continue racing through winter so we keep sharp for the European season too.”
It is not yet known if United will continue to pursue its announced two-car LMP3 entry for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which is taking place the week before Asian LMS starts.
Dean said that his team is re-evaluating its Daytona involvement after IMSA confirmed that its LMP3 regulations will not require all teams to run a Bronze-rated driver.