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United Autosports Confirms Montoya for Le Mans

Juan Pablo Montoya to make 24 Hours of Le Mans debut with United Autosports…

Photo: Richard Dole/IMSA

Juan Pablo Montoya will make his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut with United Autosports.

The 42-year-old Colombian has been confirmed behind the wheel of its Ligier JS P217 Gibson alongside Hugo de Sadeleer and Will Owen.

Montoya, who competed in Formula 1 between 2001-2006 and has won the Indianapolis 500 twice, was first tipped to headline United Autosports’ driver lineup last week.

The Anglo-American outfit is entering two LMP2 cars in the race, with Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson set to share the second Ligier alongside a third driver whose identity is yet to be revealed.

Montoya’s signing means he now has an opportunity to become the second driver, after Graham Hill, to complete the unofficial motorsport ‘triple crown’ of winning the Indy 500, Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans.

“Juan Pablo has been around racing for a long time now and he knows what it takes to win,” said United Autosports chairman Zak Brown.

“I’m sure he will bring experience and speed to the team, which is exactly what we need for such a demanding race as Le Mans.”

Montoya currently races in the IMSA Sportscar Championship with Acura Team Penske, and competed against United Autosports at the Rolex 24 at Daytona (a race he has won three times) and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

He becomes the second high-profile driver to join the team this year, after two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso signed to race one of its Ligiers at Daytona.

Alonso will contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP1 category with Toyota.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to experience Le Mans and I’m looking forward to joining United Autosports after they had such a strong finish at Le Mans last year,” said Montoya.

“I’ve always watched the race so I’m very happy to finally be part of it. Hopefully we can have a shot at a win.”

United Autosports managing director Richard Dean added: “I watched Juan Pablo race against us at Daytona this year and was so impressed by him through the traffic, he definitely hasn’t lost any of his speed or determination.

“He’s a great character so I have no doubt that he will fit into the team well at Le Mans. I’m looking forward to welcoming him to the team.” 

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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