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24H Le Mans

Montoya Tipped for 24H Le Mans Debut With United Autosports

Juan Pablo Montoya tipped for United Autosports seat for 24 Hours of Le Mans…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Juan Pablo Montoya could make his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut this year, with the Colombian tipped to join United Autosports for the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.

Multiple French media outlets, including Auto Hebdo and Le Maine Libre, are reporting that the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner is in discussions to drive one of the team’s Ligier JS P217 Gibsons in the race.

Sportscar365, meanwhile, understands that a deal is close to being reached, with talks having accelerated during last weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Team manager Max Gregory told Ouest-France: “We would like to run Juan Pablo at Le Mans this year, but we have no commitment at the moment.”

A United Autosports spokesperson, meanwhile told Sportscar365 they’re talking to “a number of drivers” and a decision will be made shortly.

Should a deal materialize, it would mark the latest high-profile driver to join the Anglo-American team, following Fernando Alonso’s sports car racing debut in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, alongside McLaren junior Lando Norris and Phil Hanson.

Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque are currently the only two drivers confirmed in the team’s No. 22 Ligier for Le Mans, with a third seat open in its second LMP2 entry, alongside Hugo de Sadeleer and Will Owen.

Montoya, who has shifted to full-time prototype racing this year with Acura Team Penske in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, has already achieved two-thirds of the so-called ‘triple crown of motorsport’, with wins at Indy in 2000 and 2015 and victory in the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix.

However, a class win at Le Mans would not count towards towards the unofficial crown, although a LMP2 car led the race outright at one point last year.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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