From pole position to the top step of the podium, the 4 Hours of Aragon (Saturday 26th August) was a flawless weekend for the #22 United Autosports crew who crossed the line with a 15-second lead.
Polesitter Phil Hanson took the start, pulling away in the opening stages before handing over to Marino Sato who managed the gap in a highly competitive field. The team navigated numerous Safety Cars and FCYs with a perfectly-executed strategy, coming to a head in the final stages with a precision pit stop and push to the finish under the cover of darkness with Olly Jarvis at the wheel.
Sadly, the #23 car didn’t enjoy the same success – with contact coming into the pit lane and a drive through penalty leaving the exciting one-off Aragon Pro line-up with P7.
For the #21 team of Daniel Schneider, Andy Meyrick and Filipe Albuquerque, however, Aragon delivered a great run from the back of the field to a P3 finish. That marks our first ever Pro/Am podium in the European Le Mans Series, just three races into our debut season.
The fourth round of the European Le Mans Series is the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on 24th September 2023. In the meantime, stay up to date with the team on social @unitedautosports.
QUALI P1 | RACE P1 | CHAMP P4
Phil Hanson: “Great result! Starting from pole made it a bit easier in controlling the race … I was able to build a gap before a Safety Car hampered things, but I was then able to build a gap again in the 10-laps after the re-start. Our rivals were on different strategies so the leader board didn’t look straight forward at times - but the team did a great job in covering everything off. Marino and Olly drove really well, we were really strong. Our car was in the perfect window.”
Oliver Jarvis: “Phil and Marino both did amazing work to put me in a position to fight for the win. When I took over the car on cold tyres, I was passed by some cars on different strategies but I knew we had less fuel to take on at the last stop. I pushed like crazy …. managed to jump the other cars …. I took a lot of risks. It’s so competitive, every second counts. A huge thank you to United Autosports, they did an amazing job all week. It’s nice to reward their hard work with this victory … it’s been a tough start to the season."
Marino Sato: "I did a solid stint without any mistakes, managed the gap that Phil made for me …. we got it right this weekend, I was very happy in the car, it was on rails! I definitely won’t forget scoring my first win in a sportscar here at Aragon.”
CAR #21 (PRO/AM)
QUALI P10 (IN CLASS) | RACE P3 | CHAMP P5
Daniel Schneider: “We began on the wrong foot – I didn’t have a good Quali, I don’t know why but it happened …. but we never gave up! I made a good start, the car had decent pace and was strong. I had a solid stint and brought it back in one piece which was the plan. Andy did a really good job and Filipe brought it home. Fantastic!”
Filipe Albuquerque: “I had fun today, coming up through the field so quickly! We were lucky with the Safety Cars and Full Course Yellows getting us back on the lead lap. When I got in the car, we were P6 …. the car was very quick …. it was a great recovery, and we secured my team-mate’s first podium of the season which is fantastic. I’m really happy."
Andy Meyrick: “Delighted to get our first podium of the season … I think it’s something we can build on for the rest of the year now. Huge thank you to the United Autosports team, a big part of the result was not only how good the car was but their excellent strategy throughout. Really happy.”
QUALI P6 | RACE P7 | CHAMP N/A
Guy Smith: “It’s been a positive weekend … we had a strong run but unfortunately I was hit coming into the pit lane which required the rear tail to be replaced, losing valuable time. We had a drive-though penalty later on which, combined, put us out of contention. Paul put in a strong stint at the end proving the car was fast. But we leave on a positive. It’s a shame we didn’t have Jim McGuire on board with us but hopefully he’ll be back for Spa."
Garnet Patterson: “My stint got off to a bad start after Guy got hit coming into the pit lane and it was doubly frustrating as the car that hit us didn’t get a penalty. We lost at least 30-40 seconds with the incident. I seemed to always be in traffic in my stint which made looking after my tyres hard. I had slight contact with an LMP3 car which resulted in a drive-through penalty. But our pace was strong and I enjoyed the experience. Thank you to Jim McGuire and everyone at United Autosports for this opportunity."
Paul di Resta: “I really enjoyed myself, consistently setting some good, competitive lap times. The car was strong. Hopefully we can take that kind of pace to the next round at Spa when we all hope Jim McGuire will be fully fit to join Guy and myself, after his off in testing here earlier this week."
Max Gregory: “Pole position, outright victory and our first ever ELMS Pro/Am podium – there has been so much hard work going on behind the scenes, and to see it come together like this in one weekend is fantastic, giving us great momentum for the rest of the season. It has been really challenging in the hot conditions, so a huge thank you to the United Autosports team for always giving it their all. Wishing Jim McGuire a speedy recovery - we hope to see him back in the car at Spa.”