Today at the opening day of the Autosport International Show 2017, Zak Brown and Richard Dean of United Autosports spoke to Toby Moody on the main stage about the launch of their LMP2 car for the European Le Mans Series and Le Mans, the Ligier JS P217.
In 2009, with no sponsorship, Zak Brown started United Autosports with his Le Mans winning friend Richard Dean. They have competed in the BTCC, British GT and Rolex Daytona 24 amongst other series.
In their debut season in LMP3 in ELMS, the team won the Championship attaining a 1-2 in the opening race at Silverstone and 3 wins out of the first 3 races.
The team will run the full race season in the LMP2 class of ELMS and also compete at the Le Mans 24 race in June, a chance they could not turn down as with a reduced field of LMP1 entries it could not be inconceivable that an LMP2 car could challenge for an overall podium finish.
Confirmed season drivers are Will Owen (21) from Zak’s home town of Castle Rock, Colorado and Swiss driver Hugo De Sadeleer (19):
Will, coming from the US Pro Mazda Series says he is “So excited to be in ELMS and to race at Le Mans, so many great tracks to race at. Very different to racing in the US”. His first visit to Le Mans was only as recent as last year as a spectator and believes that the car will do very well at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
Hugo, switching from Formula Renault says “I have already been training in the Swiss mountains to get ready for the new car which will be very different from the single seater I am used too, much faster”. Hugo has been a long time attendee of the Le Mans Classic meeting and has been working on learning the track using a Sim.
The first outing for the new car will be in February at a 3 day test at the Portimao Circuit, Portugal. Today was the first time Zak and both drivers have seen the car in its completed state. With regards to the 3rd driver, Alex Brundle was spoken about but yet to be confirmed. However, a certain Martin Brundle was seen speaking to Richard Dean before the launch!
In a funny moment, Zak had to confess he had not fully read the rules on being invited to compete at Le Mans…. a Monsieur Gérard Neveu (CEO of the World Endurance Championship) informed him he needed to run the whole season… when Zak told this to Richard his reply was “ah… details”!
The Ligier LMP2 Technical Specs