ELMS: Victory in weather chaos at the 4 Hours of Algarve

United Autosports win at 4 Hours of Algarve
United Autosports win at 4 Hours of Algarve
Today, the #22 crew of Phil Hanson, Olly Jarvis and Marino Sato delivered a thrilling win in the 4 Hours of Algarve – the first of two races this weekend in the double header finale of the 2023 European Le Mans Series.

The team navigated erratic weather conditions, through showers, bright sunshine and heavy downpours, with strategic risks, well-timed tyre choices and consistently strong drives coming together in the final laps when Olly Jarvis overtook the leading car to claim an epic victory at the rollercoaster track.

For the #21 Pro/Am team, victory was in sight at the half-way mark - but two penalties, a spin and unlucky Safety Car timing meant the team ultimately crossed the line P4 … just missing out on their third podium of the season.

The racing continues in Portugal this weekend, with the 4 Hours of Portimao on Sunday 22nd October at 13:00 BST / 14:00 CEST. Stay up to date with the team on social @unitedautosports. 

Phil Hanson, Olly Jarvis and Marino Sato win the 4 Hours of Algarve in the #22 United Autosports
Phil Hanson, Olly Jarvis and Marino Sato win the 4 Hours of Algarve in the #22 United Autosports


Quali P6 | Race P1 | Champ P2

Phil Hanson: “That was the most chaotic race I’ve ever done … I think I’ve said that multiple times this year, but it really was unbelievable. There were so many fantastic strategy calls from the team – humungous credit to them. There were two or three big calls during the race that played a massive role to getting us this win. And then Olly at the end! During that last Safety Car when we opted to stop a lap later than everyone else and concede a lot of track position … it meant we didn’t have to fuel save to the end and we could push flat out. Olly was able to catch the leader incredibly quickly. Wow, just so much happened. I’m elated for the team and really grateful to my teammates for doing a great job today. So happy we got the win.” 

Marino Sato: “A lot happened! I drove a decent stint without mistakes in challenging conditions. Phil handed me the car in a better place than we started, and I just passed the car to Olly and he drove a monster stint in the end which brought us up there. Big credit to both of them. I think I deserve a smaller credit today!”

Olly Jarvis: “Probably one of the craziest races I’ve ever done! It went from wet to dry … to more rain just when you thought it was drying up. The team did an amazing job to make sure we were always on the right tyres at the right time. My teammates had fantastic drives … and I must admit, I wasn’t sure in that last stint, after the Safety Car, if we were going to get the victory but I gave it everything and it worked out in the end. It was a really enjoyable race in the car, I was super pumped and it’s amazing to get the win!”

United Autosports #21 ELMS Pro/Am car - Daniel Schneider, Nelson Piquet Jr and Andy Meyrick
United Autosports #21 ELMS Pro/Am car - Daniel Schneider, Nelson Piquet Jr and Andy Meyrick

Quali P10 | Race P4 | Champ P5


Daniel Schneider: “Even though the final result was a bit disappointing, I am happy with our performance because we started at the back of the grid. The car was a rocket in the dry conditions so I overtook a couple of cars and I felt comfortable in the wet too. I brought it back for the guys to do their job and we ended up finishing P4. A little bit disappointed but we have Sunday!” 

Andy Meyrick: “Absolutely crazy race. Disappointed with P4 if I’m honest because we had the car and the pace to win. The team did an amazing job … mechanics, engineers, everybody. Just a few errors as drivers that meant we didn’t get the victory but it shows the progress we’re making.”

Nelson Piquet Jr: “Frustrating race … we made a lot of good decisions but we made a few mistakes as drivers too. A few penalties, at some points we were lucky with the Safety Car and other times we were unlucky. It was just crazy. It’s frustrating because we could easily see a chance of winning or a podium … easily, but we made a few small mistakes. One last chance on Sunday.” 


Max Gregory: “Today was a great team effort.  To keep the championship alive, we knew that we had to win the race, and we did just that.  So, credit to everyone involved in what was definitely a stressful race to be a part of. The changing weather kept the pit crews on their toes and the engineering team made some excellent calls.  This victory brings the LMP2 Pro championship back within reach, closing the gap to 20 points so we will be fighting to the very end. For the #21 Pro/Am team, it was another solid result with P4.  The pace was encouraging and at one point it looked like we could have taken the win. So a little disappointing to be 4th in the end but excited to see what they can do on Sunday.”