Exciting sportscar talent Marino Sato and rising star Filip Ugran will race in a dynamic European Le Mans Series (ELMS) LMP2 Pro entry next year, teaming up with previously-announced, multi-ELMS race winner Ben Hanley (read more) in the #22 United Autosports ORECA 07.
“It’s shaping up to be a fantastic season in the European Le Mans Series,” says Richard Dean, United Autosports CEO, “with the LMP2 Pro grid doubling in size to 14 entries, including a hugely competitive line-up in Ben Hanley, Marino Sato and Filip Ugran.”
Sato impressively finished his rookie sportscar season as European Le Mans Series LMP2 Pro Vice-Champion after winning 50% of races (4 Hours of Aragon, 4 Hours of Algarve and 4 Hours of Portimão).
"A big thank you to everyone around me for continuous support and to the team for believing in me,” says Sato. “I'm very happy to be back in ELMS especially with United Autosports and super happy to add this to my calendar alongside my WEC campaign with United and McLaren [read more]. The field looks really strong with the few new teams and a lot of strong drivers but we are ready to give everything. We just missed out on winning the title last season so the target is really clear for us. Can't wait to get this started!"
Romanian driver Filip Ugran completes the debut line-up, following his rookie FIA WEC season in 2023 where he came away with a respectable record of three top-five finishes in the highly competitive LMP2 class.
“I am really excited to join United Autosports - they have such a strong track record in the European Le Mans Series,” says Ugran. “My teammates Ben and Marino both have winning experience in the ELMS too, so I’m going to make the most of this opportunity, learn all I can from them and hopefully have a great season together in the #22!”
This won’t be Ugran’s first visit to the ELMS paddock, having competed in the final two rounds of the 2022 season, finishing fifth in class at the 4 Hours of Portimão. In the same year, he celebrated a podium finish in the 2022 Complete Euroformula Open Championship, taking third place at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Now, the 21-year-old is gearing up for his second full season in the LMP2 class, with six ELMS rounds ahead including the first ever 4 Hours of Mugello and a new night race to round off the year in Portimão.
“We finished 2023 in such a strong position, with three wins from six races,” says Dean, “but we missed out on the championship. That one really hurt … but now we are refocussed, re-energised and hungrier than ever to reclaim our title and I am confident these talented drivers can help us achieve just that.”
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