United Autosports at the 4 Hours of Imola 2024
United Autosports at the 4 Hours of Imola 2024
Yesterday, the United Autosports LMP2 trio took a double haul of championship points in the 4 Hours of Imola - round three of the 2024 European Le Mans Series - after an action-filled afternoon of incidents, Full Course Yellows and Safety Cars.


The #23 ORECA 07 of Paul Di Resta, Fabio Scherer and 2024 Le Mans winner Bijoy Garg finished P6 overall – their best result of the season so far - collecting eight championship points along the way. For the #22 ORECA of Marino Sato, Filip Ugran and Ben Hanley, a post-race penalty sadly took away their top-10 finish, ultimately placing P11. While in LMP2 Pro/Am, 2024 Le Mans winner Oliver Jarvis, Andy Meyrick and Daniel Schneider took P7 in class. 


The #23 ORECA O7 started mid-field on the grid. Garg took the first stint, moving up into the top 10 within the first half hour. Shortly after, however an LMGT3 car made contact with the rear end, resulting in a tail change on the first pitstop. Scherer followed up with a quick and clean stint, taking the #23 to P5 before a safety car shook up the standings. Paul Di Resta took the car to the finish, climbing from P8 to P6 at the checkered flag. 


For the second LMP2 Pro entry, Ugran took the first stint in the #22, starting from P8 on the grid and taking P7 within the first hour. When Marino Sato took over, he fought his way into the top five before handing over to Ben Hanley for the final stint. Unfortunately, the #22 suffered contact from a lapped car and was forced into the garage to replace a bent toe link. The #22 crossed the line in P10, before a post-race ruling for driver time, caused by the time spent in the garage fixing the damage, dropped us one place to P11 in class.


In the LMP2 Pro/Am category, the #21 ORECA 07 qualified P6 courtesy of Daniel Schneider – who also took the first stint on race day. Schneider battled for position with the car ahead, handing over to Andy Meyrick to continue the fight - however a cockpit issue brought the #21 back into the pits, with the ORECA 07 rejoining one lap down. Le Mans winner Oliver Jarvis took over but couldn’t regain the time lost with the LMP2 Pro/Am trio finishing P7 in class. 


The next round of the ELMS is in Spa, Belgium on Sunday 25th August. First, however, the WEC and IMSA squads are heading to Brazil and Canada for an action-packed week of racing around the world. Stay up to date with the team on social @unitedautosports


Bijoy Garg, Fabio Scherer and Paul Di Resta - United Autosports LMP2 racing drivers
Bijoy Garg, Fabio Scherer and Paul Di Resta - United Autosports LMP2 racing drivers

#23 ORECA 07


Quali P10 | Race P6 | Champ P11


Bijoy Garg: “Not an entirely clean race ... getting hit by the LMGT3 really damaged our tail and we had to replace it on the first stop – which cost us a lot. It was a shame because I think we had quite good pace and that a lot more was possible than P6. In the end it was still a decent recovery but I’m looking forward to Spa, hopefully a clean race and a better result.” 


Fabio Scherer: “It’s for sure an improvement from the first two rounds – Barcelona and Paul Ricard. We were a bit unlucky with the hit we got in the first stint that cost us a lot of time. The pace could have been good enough for a podium, so I am happy with that. Still some work to do to make some progress to win but I think we’re going in the right direction.” 


Paul Di Resta: “It was always going to be a busy race. Unfortunately, we had contact in the first stint ... an LMGT3 damaged our tail which meant we had to do a tail change. When you look at the analysis, we spent a minute longer in the pit lane than the car that won the race, and we lost the race by a minute and three seconds. We were very strong when we were in the clean air and we managed to fight our way from the back of the pack to 6th at the finish ... not with the help of any safety cars or anything like that. They didn’t make any difference to our race. I’m looking forward to getting to Spa, which I think will suit our team a lot better.” 


Marino Sato, Ben Hanley and Filip Ugran - United Autosports LMP2 racing drivers
Marino Sato, Ben Hanley and Filip Ugran - United Autosports LMP2 racing drivers

#22 ORECA 07

Quali P8 | Race P11  | Champ P5


Filip Ugran: “Not the result we expected. The car felt good but luck was not with us this time, unfortunately. I am looking forward to the next rounds ... we are ready to get back on that podium!” 


Marino Sato: “I’m still not really sure how the race went ... it was a bit messy and we were shuffling positions a lot during the race. I need to watch it again! I think Filip did a decent job, especially on his first stint he was doing pretty well comparing to the other cars – he gained probably one or two places, so that was a really good part of the race for him. When I got in, I think I also did a solid stint ... there wasn’t much racing around but I was closing the gap to the cars in front. It was a difficult weekend for sure ... just one of those weeks. We can still play the championship from here, eyes forward.” 


Ben Hanley: “A very frustrating end to the weekend for us, after some good stints from everyone in the 22 car. We were into p4 then an LMP2 backmarker who was already a lap down made contact with the rear of our car as I was passing and caused us to pit for a repair putting us practically out the race.”

Daniel Schneider, Oliver Jarvis and Andy Meyrick - United Autosports LMP2 racing drivers
Daniel Schneider, Oliver Jarvis and Andy Meyrick - United Autosports LMP2 racing drivers
#21 ORECA 07 (LMP2 PRO/AM)


Quali P6 | Race P7 | Champ P6


Daniel Schneider: “I had a solid stint, the car was performing really, really well. I was unlucky being stuck behind the Virage car and I pretty much followed him for the two stints. We had more pace than him. But, it was a solid run, even though we didn’t get the result we wanted in the end because of things out of our control. It was ok, I’m looking forward to the next now – I have a lot of positives but I have to work on some procedures in order to get a good result in Spa.” 


Andy Meyrick: “I think the best way to say it is that today we didn’t fill our potential. The car was quick enough to get a better result, so yeah, things didn’t fall our way during the race, which was frustrating. A bit of a bad result today but it’s going to make us really focused and want the result at Spa even more.” 


Oliver Jarvis: “A really frustrating race for us. We lost a lap early on … by the time I got in the car, it was just a case of pushing as hard as I could and trying to close the gaps to cars in front – but we were just too far off at that point. Not a great weekend, not a result that we were looking for – so we’ve got a bit of work to do and hopefully we will come back stronger.” 


Managing Director


Max Gregory: “A tricky day for all three teams with a number of unfortunate incidents setting us back – some, we must learn from, others were out of our control. It’s great to see the #23 crew making progress, taking their best result of the season so far. That line-up has huge potential, with three Le Mans winners racing together, so I am confident we will see them on the podium very soon. Daniel Schneider drove a solid stint in the #21 Pro/Am with a battle that was great to watch. For the #22, it was not their day with contact and then a penalty not of our doing – but I know they will come back stronger in Spa. They have already proven themselves as key contenders in this 2024 season. Overall, Imola wasn’t our strongest circuit but, looking ahead to the second half of the season, we have a lot of tracks with historic success in the calendar. We are looking forward to that.”