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United Autosports Signs Hanson; Two LMP2 Cars for ELMS, Daytona

United signs Hanson, confirms two-car LMP2 entry for Daytona, ELMS…

Photo: United Autosports

United Autosports has signed Phil Hanson for the 2018 season, while confirming it will step up to running two Ligier JS P217 Gibsons in the European Le Mans Series and Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Hanson makes the move from Tockwith Motorsports after leaving the team earlier in the season following controversy regarding a music video filmed at the team’s base using its equipment.

He will compete in the full ELMS season with United next year as well as at the Rolex 24.

An entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans is also planned, subject to the team being granted an entry.

The 17-year-old completed a partial ELMS season with Tockwith this year as well as three FIA World Endurance Championship starts including Le Mans before the program was pulled.

He will join previously-announced Lando Norris and Will Owen in United’s lineup for Daytona, which has been expanded to a two-car effort

“I’m very excited to be racing for reigning European Le Mans Series champions United Autosports next year,” Hanson commented.

“The Rolex 24 at Daytona will be my first race in America. Racing at Daytona is a very exhilarating way to start my 2018 season, as it is one of the most famous races in the world. I can’t wait to get going.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake



  1. Michael Sørensen

    October 12, 2017 at 5:46 am

    I suppose they will use the Ligier that Tockwith ran?

  2. seth

    October 12, 2017 at 8:32 am

    We want Alonso!!!

    • NaBUru38

      October 12, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      Please Zak!

    • David Chaste

      October 13, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      The question is does he want to be there?? And if he does Zak would have to round up a couple other heavy hitters $$$. ‘Lonso won’t be coming just to make up numbers.

  3. Kurt

    October 12, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Great news to see some solid teams come over for Daytona! Interesting that the gentlemen drivers are in a car together, hopefully that means an all pro lineup for the 2nd car. 17yo is incredibly young for a prototype driver in IMSA, i think the lack of experience in traffic and IMSA pit lane will be an extra hurdle.

    • David Chaste

      October 12, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Gentlemen? It would be like saying when Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen were in F3 they were gentlemen drivers. In all respects they should be termed “young guns”. Lots of raw fast racing potential with little to no race craft.

      These guys have the caliber of F3, GP3 or Star Mazda drivers. Lando Norris is a McLaren young driver, and is the reason mcLaren does not want to give Button another reserve driver contract.

      They would be classified as silvers now but if they stay disciplined (and have good managers) in 5 six years they could be sought after.

      Right now they’re just unknown and young.

      • Kurt

        October 12, 2017 at 3:52 pm

        Norris yes, but not Will Owen and Phil Hanson in my opinion. It’s certainly possible, but I haven’t seen any brilliant driving moments from either. Owen has improved but hasn’t demonstrated the raw speed. Hanson’s pace vs Moore was quite bad as well. The sector times and 5-10 lap averages with and without traffic make this quite clear. I do hope the best, but looking at facts.

        • David Chaste

          October 13, 2017 at 1:52 pm

          They all have raw speed. Zak Brown is too smart to put his prized pupil Phil Hanson in a loosing situation. Phil Hanson so far is having a Lewis hamilton style career (winning everything). It would not make sense to put him in a situation where he goes in knowing his chances f success are very limited

          It would be bad for the moral of an F1 prospect knowing you are entered in a race where you can’t even dream of being in the top 5 or on the podium even though everyone has nearly the same performance in their cars.

          • David Chaste

            October 13, 2017 at 1:53 pm

            Oops, the prized pupil I meant was Lando Norris.

    • KW

      October 13, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      These are no “gentlemen drivers”, this is an education program done by McLaren/Zak Brown for future Formula One and Le Mans drivers for the McLaren brand. Lando Norris will win the European F3 championship this weekend (he needs only 2 more points to do so) and will be McLaren’s F1 test driver next year, replacing Jenson Button.

      • Kurt

        October 19, 2017 at 2:30 pm

        Both you and David keep referencing Norris, yes, I agree he is moving up quickly and very fast. I’m not talking about Norris. Do remember that IMSA drive rules are no driver must complete more than 4 hrs in any 6hr rolling window. This requires Phil Hanson/Will Owen to drive a good chunk at some point throughout the race. I hope you’re right and they are incredibly quick, but again, looking at the data the fact is that they are nowhere near their competitors, at least not yet. Phil Hanson is a pay driver, that’s not a prodigy, that’s a paycheck that keeps United in business, no?

  4. Jason Skow

    October 12, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Would love to Button in one of their cars at Daytona and Sebring!

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