“I’m really excited to share this news,” says Marino, “thank you to everyone around me, United Autosports and McLaren for this wonderful opportunity.”
In 2023, the 24-year-old former Formula 2 racer impressively finished the season as LMP2 Pro Vice-Champion in the European Le Mans Series with United Autosports on his maiden LMP2 sports-prototype campaign.
“Marino really deserves this chance in the WEC with McLaren,” says United Autosports CEO Richard Dean. “He has done an amazing job for United in LMP2 this year. Not only is Marino a great personality to have around the team but he has been fast and reliable on his way to winning three races out of six in his debut sportscar season.”
Marino, together with co-drivers Oliver Jarvis and Phil Hanson, just missed out on the championship title after scoring three wins in the six-race series (4 Hours of Aragon, 4 Hours of Algarve and 4 Hours of Portimao).
Now, the recently upgraded FIA Gold-rated driver has another new venture on the horizon.
“It will be a challenging season for sure,” says Marino, “but I’m very much looking forward to a lot of big races in the calendar, especially the 6 Hours of Fuji which will be my first car racing in Japan!”
As well as his first Japanese motor racing experience, confirmation of the United Autosports McLaren WEC LMGT3 entry would also see the former Italian F4 (2015/16), FIA Formula 3 European (2017/18), Euroformula Open (2019) and FIA Formula 2 Championship (2019-22) contender make his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut, WEC debut and first time competing in a 24-hour race.
In September 2023, Marino was also announced as part of the United Autosports’ 2024 IMSA charge (read more). However, his upgraded driver categorisation reopened the IMSA Silver-graded seat, with another driver to be announced in due course, while Sato focusses fully on the WEC challenge ahead.
Now, McLaren and United Autosports eagerly await ratification from WEC organisers, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), that the planned two-car McLaren 720S EVO entry has been accepted.
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