Former Formula 2 racer Marino Sato will make his sports car racing debut, joining United Autosports in the European Le Mans Series.
Sato, 23, will share the No. 22 Oreca 07 Gibson with Phil Hanson and Oliver Jarvis, completing the Anglo-American outfit’s three-car LMP2 effort in the championship.
The Japanese racer transitions to prototype competition after three full seasons in F2. Before that, he won the Euroformula Open title in 2019.
“I would like to thank everyone in the team for their trust and everyone around me for making this happen,” Sato said.
“It will be a new challenge for me but I’m sure we can have a great season – I’m excited to get started.”
Sato is joined by a returning Hanson, who won the LMP2 title in 2020 and took overall victory in last year’s 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Jarvis, meanwhile, is set for his full-season ELMS debut. Like Hanson, the prototype racing veteran will dovetail the ELMS season with a program in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
“I am delighted to be joining United Autosports in the ELMS alongside Phil and Marino,” said Jarvis.
“I know Phil extremely well and look forward to working with Marino for the first time having watched him in F2.
“It will be my first full season in the championship but being part of a proven race-winning team, with extremely strong teammates, I’m confident we can challenge for victories.”
United will field three LMP2 cars in the ELMS, marking the biggest effort in the championship since joining in 2017.
“This is a super strong driver lineup,” said team co-owner and managing director Richard Dean.
“We’ve strengthened our team in so many areas as we have our sights solely focussed on winning back our European Le Mans Series title.”