- Schauerman/Boyd and Latorre/ Patterson finish second and third
- Three United cars placed inside top-four with 10 minutes remaining
United Autosports superbly placed two of their four Ligiers (#23 & #22) inside the top-three in the second round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup at Imola (14 May) – the perfect “warm-up” for the next rounds at Le Mans. Three United cars were in top-four contention but a puncture for #32 with a little over 10mins remaining cruelly snatched away third-place with its fourth entry, #2 finishing inside the top-20.
The opening 50mins of the race, staged in very hot conditions despite it starting early in the evening, featured three Safety Car periods following numerous on-track incidents. United’s LMP3 quartet each made their pit-stops with a little over one-hour remaining with #32, #23, #22 and #2 pitting from sixth, tenth, 13th and 20th – the latter delayed on the opening lap.
Underlining motorsport is a huge team effort, United had three cars inside the top-eight after efficient and error-free pit-stops when racing resumed, the trio (#32, #22, #23) dicing furiously and progressing up to fifth, sixth and seventh positions – the second half of the race featuring four Full Course Yellow periods. After the unfortunate late demise of #32 due to contact and resulting puncture, #23 and #22 crossed the line second and third – the latter from 20th on the grid – with #2 20th. Focus now shifts to the “blue riband” event of the season and the two races that support the Le Mans 24 Hours (9 & 11 Jun) with United entering five Ligiers.
#23 John Schauerman (US)/Wayne Boyd (GB)
Qualified: 12th (JS). Race: 2nd
John: “I lost two places at the start and then I couldn’t pass the guy ahead of me even though I was a little faster. After the many Safety Cars, I just wanted to get it home as I knew Wayne is the miracle worker. Wayne took over and I just watched the miracle of Wayne Boyd. I am so excited and happy to be his team-mate. He is just an amazing person and a great driver, so congratulations to him. Second place is all about Wayne.”
Wayne: “I’m so happy for United and John, who really deserve this result, plus our crew. They have worked extremely hard. Unlike me, Imola was a brand new track for John and a very tricky one to learn with limited running. There was so much going on I just sat back but then towards the end, it started to come to us. We had a really good car. I’m delighted!”
#22 Andres Latorre (AUS)/Garnet Patterson (AUS)
Qualified: 21st (AL). Race: 3rd
Andres: “This result is a dream. I never expected to have claimed a podium in only my second race with United. It was a mega job from the team who deserve this as we’d had issues with the gearbox which they changed. The boys worked tirelessly and so this result is for them. Qualifying wasn’t great but I knew there was pace in the car in race conditions.”
Garnet: “Great strategy from United. We didn’t expect to be on the podium after quali but you always hope for a bit of luck. It was a great race. I pushed hard at the start of my stint and maybe used up my tyre a bit too much. I had to concede fourth but then some penalties came along and so we were classified third. Fantastic effort by everyone!”
#2 Shaun Lynn (GB)/Max Lynn (GB)
Qualified: 23rd (SL). Race: 20th
Shaun: “I thoroughly enjoyed racing at Imola for the first time since 2011. The car was fantastic and the team did an amazing job. I had two cars spin in front of me at the hairpin which meant I had to visit the gravel in avoidance which crushed our race. It left me pretty much dead last but I worked my way forward.”
Max: “Imola is a great circuit, you can get into a good rhythm and I felt good here. We were lower down the leaderboard due to a chaotic start to the race. Dad pitted under Safety Car conditions, but I was held at the end of the pit-lane because of a red light which put us a lap down. I re-joined just ahead of the leaders which made the re-start interesting for me!”
#32 Daniel Schneider (BRA)/Andy Meyrick (GB)
Qualified: 8th (DS) TIME. Race: DNF
Daniel: “I improved with every session. The pace was good and I felt really comfortable in the car. Andy got us into a podium position but in a millisecond, everything was gone. But I felt much happier in the car than at Paul Ricard which is a big bonus to take to Le Mans and future races in general.”
Andy: “It was a crazy. Daniel did an amazing job in his stint with a lot of Safety Car periods, handing the car of over to me in a good position. I got my head down, you need to be aggressive here, rode my luck, took my chances, and got into a podium position. But another car hit me causing a rear puncture and I spun into the gravel. End of story.”
“What better way to head to Le Mans than to score two podiums. An absolutely brilliant performance by the drivers and crew. Next up is the big one – Le Mans and I can’t wait to be there!”
"I'm really happy for John, Wayne, Andres and Garnet, what an amazing result to finish with two cars on the podium. In the six years that we've entered the Le Mans Cup this is our best finish so I'm really excited to see how the rest of the season can progress."