United Autosports has completed two of its LMP3 driver lineups for the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series and declared plans for a third entry as the category gains participants.
United first announced last month that it would field a pair of Ligier JS P320 Nissans in the series, which is being held entirely at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit in February.
Former Bentley ace Andy Meyrick, British GT regular Ian Loggie and one of United’s European Le Mans Series LMP3 co-champions Rob Wheldon will drive one of those cars.
American Bronze-rated driver Jim McGuire will team up with Andrew Bentley and Duncan Tappy in another entry, reuniting United’s No. 3 ELMS crew from this year.
“It made sense to keep this ELMS driver line up together heading into the Asian Le Mans Series,” said United Autosports managing director Richard Dean.
“They worked well together this year and they can now prepare for next season too – the Asian Le Mans Series acts as a great winter testing program.
“I think we have two really strong line ups and we are hoping to add a third to that very soon.”
While United is set to add a third LMP3 car to its Asian LMS entry, the team has decided to abandon its plans to compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona next month.
The team originally announced intentions of a two-car Daytona LMP3 entry, but the publication of IMSA’s driver rating rules for the class stating that Bronze-rated drivers are not mandatory didn’t fit in with United’s aim to compete with Bronzes.
It will now focus its efforts on the Asian LMS which kicks off with the first of four Abu Dhabi races on Feb. 4, one week after Daytona.
Another European LMP3 team signed up for the 2021 season is CD Sport, which is fielding a single Ligier.
The French team raced in the Michelin Le Mans Cup this year and will take part in its first Asian program with its 2020 season pairing of Nick Adcock and Michael Jensen joined by Porsche Carrera Cup France competitor Adam Eteki.
Additionally, ELMS regular Nielsen Racing is expected to defend its Asian LMP3 title, although the British team has yet to confirm how many cars it will enter.
Nielsen won the 2019-20 class championship with a Norma M30 Nissan driven by Colin Noble and Tony Wells.
“The one-off calendar comes with a substantial cost reduction and increased COVID safety by reducing travel and keeping everyone in the same place,” said Nielsen team principal David Sven Thompson.
“Yas Marina is one of the best facilities in the world. I’ve worked there on and off during the winter for the last 12 years so I know it well. Guaranteed running over the winter is definitely a bonus.”
Slovakian outfit ARC Bratislava is also known to be looking toward an Asian program with its recently-delivered Ginetta G61-LT-P3s.