United Autosports has revealed plans to return to a two-car LMP2 operation in the European Le Mans Series next year, alongside a continued dual effort in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The Anglo-American operation, which expanded into two full-season Oreca 07 Gibsons in the WEC this year, scaled back its ELMS LMP2 commitments to only a single entry for Phil Hanson, Tom Gamble and Duncan Tappy.
While having already announced a LMP2 Pro-Am entry featuring Nelson Piquet Jr. for 2023, Dean said they plan to have two cars on the grid in the series’ top class next year.
It would come in addition to its recently confirmed two-car LMP2 effort in next year’s Asian Le Mans Series season.
“The intention is no secret, to run two ELMS cars,” Dean told Sportscar365. “One Pro-Am car that we’ve announced, and we’ll run one ‘pro’ car. We’ll stay with two in WEC.
“We had one in WEC and two in ELMS [last year]. We switched it around. WEC is a bigger commitment, a lot more managing.”
Dean explained that one of the reasons its only running one car in ELMS this year is down to car availability.
“The little step up to go to two ELMS [entries] is a manageable step,” he said. “The other simple thing is that we just didn’t have enough cars.
“ORECA is still receiving orders for those cars. Because of the demand, it’s six months before you get one. So you have to have these deals done in time to place the order and receive everything in good time to do it.”
Dean confirmed they’ve placed an order for a new Oreca LMP2 car to facilitate the planned expanded effort in 2023.
“We have to get these deals done well in advance to then get everything in place,” he said. “We could have run two cars in ELMS [this] year, but we just physically couldn’t get hold of the car.”
In addition to confirming Piquet Jr., Andy Meyrick and Daniel Schneider for its first ELMS LMP2 entry, 16-year-old Josh Pierson was recently re-signed for a second year in the WEC.
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report