Fuji Speedway Next Stop On United Autosports Asian Le Mans Series Tour

  • United Autosports hoping to continue good form after opening round
  • Christian England to join LMP3 team after late call up
  • Mount Fuji acts as glorious back drop to second round

United Autosports head to Fuji this weekend for the second round of the Asian Le Mans Series after a successful start two weeks ago in Shanghai.

The team came away with four podiums after Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne and Salih Yoluc won their class and also finished third overall in the #23 Ligier JS P2. Phil Hanson and Paul Di Resta finished second in the #22 Ligier JS P2, while Wayne Boyd, Garett Grist and Chris Buncombe finished second in the LMP3 field. 

This weekend, the #3 crew of Matt Bell and Kay van Berlo will be joined by another United Autosports regular, Christian England as they aim to get their championship back on track after a disappointing sixth place finish at Shanghai. Christian will step in for Jim McGuire who is unable to travel to Fuji due to business commitments.

The second round of the Asian Le Mans Series begins on Friday 7th December with free practice at 14:45 local time (UK +9hrs). The four-hour race will begin at 12:00 on Sunday 9th December. The live stream and live timing of qualifying and the race will be available on the Asian Le Mans Series Facebook page, You Tube and website.

Phil Hanson (GB), driver car #22, United Autosports:

Born/Lives: London, UK. Age: 19

“I like Fuji – I’ve never raced there in an LMP2 car and I think it will be interesting knowing that the first generation LMP2 car isn’t as settled in general as the new generation LMP2 car. I think the car will be moving around quite a lot and the first sector might be quite tricky, but I’m looking forward to a challenge and hopefully I’ll get the chance to do qualifying there too.” 

Paul Di Resta (GB), driver car #22, United Autosports:

Born: Scotland, UK Lives: Monaco. Age: 32

“We go into Fuji in a reasonable positon after our second place finish in Shanghai. It’s all new to us – the circuits and the car, with this being the first generation LMP2 Ligier, but we are working together for the best outcome and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

Guy Cosmo (US), driver car #23, United Autosports:

Born: New York, USA. Lives: Palm Beach Gardens, USA. Age: 41

“Now that we are going to a race track Patrick and I have been to before, I feel we will be able to get to work and really start making some headway with the car set up and our cohesiveness as a team. Salih has also raced there so there’s no reason why we can’t repeat our fantastic result from Shanghai.” 

Patrick Byrne (US), driver car #23, United Autosports:

Born: Colorado, USA. Lives: Washington, USA. Age: 28

“We are definitely looking forward to Fuji. Guy and I have been there before and I love Fuji, love Japan and the fans are fantastic. It’s a blessing to go there with United Autosports.” 

Salih Yoluc (TUR), driver car #23, United Autosports:

Born/Lives: Istanbul, Turkey. Age: 33

“I’ve raced at Fuji before, not that long ago actually in WEC. It’s a cool circuit and I’m looking forward to going back. We had a great result in Shanghai so hoping for more of the same in Japan.”

Garett Grist (CAN), driver car #2, United Autosports:

Born: St. Catherine’s, Canada. Lives: Grimsby, Canada. Age: 22

“I’m looking forward to Fuji and I’m hopeful of another good result with United. Shanghai was disappointing as we were hoping for the win, but we will fight back and will be aiming for the top step of the podium.”

Chris Buncombe (GB), driver car #2, United Autosports:

Born: Taunton, UK Lives: London, UK Age: 40

“I’ve never raced at Fuji, but I know the circuit. I wouldn’t say I’m super familiar with it, but I definitely know it more than I did Shanghai. I think going there now knowing what to expect a bit more from the car will help. The LMP3 car is very different to what I’ve been driving this year so I just need to learn and adapt as quick as I can so we can be heading for the top step in Fuji.”

Wayne Boyd (GB), driver car #2, United Autosports:

Born: Belfast, Northern Ireland. Lives: Templepatrick, Northern Ireland. Age: 28

“Like my team mates, I’ve never raced at Fuji, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. I think we will have to take some time to get up to speed learning the circuit, but once we do, there’s no reason why we can’t be fighting for that win. We were so close in Shanghai so it’s definitely an achievable target.”

Christian England (GB), driver car #3, United Autosports:

Born: Barnsley, UK. Lives: Huddersfield, UK. Age: 37

“It certainly was an unexpected surprise to be racing in Fuji. I’ve never been to this track nor have I been to Japan before, so to say I am looking forward to it would be an understatement. A huge thanks to Jim McGuire and United for asking me to step in. The Asian Le Mans Series looks very competitive this year so as always we need to be focused and on top of our game. I’m looking forward to working with Kay for the first time and also Matt who’s starting to feel like a brother from another mother. We have a strong line up so there really is only one aim for this race and that’s to win.” 

Matt Bell (GB), driver car #3, United Autosports:

Born: Newcastle, UK. Lives: Stamford, UK. Age: 28

“I love Fuji. It was my favourite race from the last time I raced in the Asian Le Mans Series. I love Japan, Tokyo and the track. Hopefully it won’t be too cold, but either way I’m really looking forward to it.”

Kay van Berlo (NED), driver car #3, United Autosports:

Born/Lives: Veghel, The Netherlands. Age: 17

“Hopefully we can get a better result in Fuji. Now I know how everything works, I know how United work and I know everyone in the team so that will be easier. Hopefully we will be able to fight for a podium again there.”

Zak Brown, Team Owner and Chairman, United Autosports:

“After a successful debut in Shanghai, I’m hoping we continue that into the second round at Fuji. We will be aiming to score maximum points so we go into the new year in a strong position for the final two rounds.”

Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:

“Taking United Autosports to Fuji will be a special moment for me as I spent the early 90’s racing in Japan and living near Mount Fuji. We had a good opening round in Shanghai, but we are aiming for the top step of all podiums this time round. The competition is strong but we are hopeful of another good result in Japan.”