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United Expands to Two-Car Program; Albuquerque Re-Signs

United Autosports set to add second WEC LMP2 car after two seasons; Albuquerque continues…

Photo: MPS Agency

United Autosports has declared plans to expand its FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 involvement to two cars for the 2022 season and also announced the re-signing of defending class champion Filipe Albuquerque.

United is set to run a pair of Oreca 07 Gibsons next year after running a single car during its debut 2019-20 season and the current 2021 campaign.

It won the 2019-20 LMP2 championship with Albuquerque and Phil Hanson, while Paul di Resta joined the pair for all but one of the races. The trio took four victories over the season including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The team had previously expressed interest in expanding its WEC operation for 2021 but ultimately chose to stick with a single Oreca.

United already runs two LMP2 cars in the European Le Mans Series, which it also won last season.

Reigning WEC and ELMS champion Albuquerque will continue with the Anglo-American squad for a sixth year.

The Portuguese ace, who also drives in IMSA’s DPi class for Acura squad Wayne Taylor Racing, first signed for United in 2017 for a race-winning ELMS program.

Albuquerque joins American teenager Josh Pierson in United’s WEC lineup for next term.

“I’m so pleased to be able to welcome Filipe back to the team for a sixth year,” said United Autosports co-owner Richard Dean.

“It’s crazy to think he’s been racing with us for that long, but we have had so much success together, it made sense to continue that relationship.

“I’m also thrilled to be able to confirm we are going to enter two Oreca LMP2 cars into the WEC next year as well, with Filipe in one car and our recently announced driver, Josh Pierson in the other.”

Albuquerque is in a position to complete full seasons in both WEC and IMSA next year due to the championships provisionally avoiding calendar clashes in 2022, except the ‘Super Sebring’ weekend where both series are racing on the same bill.

The double Rolex 24 at Daytona winner was forced to miss the 8 Hours of Portimao in June due to an IMSA date clash, and was also due to skip this year’s 6 Hours of Fuji before the event was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“I’m super happy to be able to continue with United Autosports for 2022 and to once again enter the WEC and Le Mans,” said Albuquerque.

“United are the team I’ve been with the longest in my career which says a lot.

“It makes sense for us to continue together, we know each other so well and every year it feels more and more like a family.

“Knowing everyone is great and their work method is unbelievable so I can’t wait to continue into 2022 going for more wins, which is exactly what we have been doing so far.

“I want to thank Richard and Zak [Brown] for the trust they have shown in me. The results from my side obviously help but it’s great to be working again with the whole team. Of course, I want to continue being part of the team getting such great results.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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