United Autosports will run two Ligier JS P3 cars in the European Le Mans Series next year, switching from the original planned Ginetta-Nissan effort as part of the team’s goal of competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Anglo-American squad, led by Richard Dean and Zak Brown, had planned to make its ELMS debut this month at Estoril with the Ginetta cars, but has instead elected to go with the French-built prototypes to build a long-term relationship with Onroak Automotive.
“Making the move from running two Ginettas to two Ligier JS P3 cars in the European Le Mans Series was not straightforward for me, given my links with Ginetta and my friendship with the chairman, Lawrence Tomlinson,” Dean said.
“However, putting the team’s best interests first was the only way to go and Lawrence could not have been more accommodating, so now we are working towards receiving our first Ligier JS P3 car late this year and going straight into testing the car and drivers.
“We can now start work on our marketing plans and aim to take the team to Le Mans in the coming years.
“I think this is a great opportunity for the team and our drivers who want to race at the Le Mans 24 hours as they can work their way up as a natural progression from LMP3 to LMP2 with the same team.”
Onroak was recently named one of the four chassis constructors to supply LMP2 chassis worldwide, including the new Daytona Prototype international formula in the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.
“The decision to switch to the Ligier JS P3 car was the best one for the team’s future plans,” Brown said.
“Our ultimate aim is to be at Le Mans, and with Ligier recently announced as one of the constructors to build the LMP2 Le Mans chassis from 2017 onwards, it made total sense to make the switch. I’m looking forward to seeing it out on track.”
The team expects to take delivery of the first Ligier at the end of the year, ahead of a testing program.