- Two wins, two poles and two fastest laps in two races for United Autosports
- Josh Pierson stars in race debut with the team
- Topping the timing sheets in every session
United Autosports have won both races in Abu Dhabi this weekend during the second weekend of the 2022 Asian Le Mans Series.
Josh Pierson made his United Autosports race debut in Abu Dhabi, racing alongside Paul Di Resta in the #23 Oreca 07. The team scored a clean sweep, topping the timing sheets in every session before taking two pole positions, two race wins and scoring two fastest laps.
Josh took the start in both races, immediately pulling a huge gap to second place before his first stop. In race one, Josh stayed in the car for the first three hours of the race, a red flag period necessitating a strategy change, which he coped with perfectly. Race one threw all kinds of racing scenarios at the 16-year-old, including rolling starts, FCY’s, safety car restarts, a red flag period, and pit stops, all of which he handled like an expert. Paul got in the car with less than an hour remaining, crossing the line almost two laps ahead of the rest of the competition.
Race two started in a similar way to race one, Josh taking the start and immediately pulling a gap to second place. Josh came under serious pressure through traffic from more experienced drivers, but handled himself brilliantly to hold onto a one lap lead for the majority of his stint. During one of the multiple FCY periods, Josh pitted the car to hand over to Paul Di Resta, who handed the car back to Josh for him to cross the line to take the team’s second win out of two races in Abu Dhabi, again a lap ahead of the rest of the competition.
The next event for United Autosports is the double header FIA World Endurance Championship / IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend at Sebring, Florida on 17-19 March. Josh will be joined by Paul and full season WEC teammate Oliver Jarvis in the #23 Oreca. The #22 Oreca will be driven by Phil Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque and Will Owen.
“It was a great weekend. It was nice to be with our full WEC team. Paul has been helpful all weekend, he put the car on pole and he’s a great guy to work with. Overall it was a good learning experience for me. We are two for two now so we have our work cut out to keep that record going. I’m looking forward to Sebring and the rest of the year.”
Paul Di Resta:
“It’s been a nice week. What better place to spend it in February! The most important thing was coming out here when the opportunity arose to race with Josh and to see what we could do to prepare him for what’s ahead. To do an ACO event like this and to run through all the procedures has been great for him. He’s done a good job, he’s progressed the right way and hasn’t put a foot wrong. He knows the task ahead. For me it was familiarising myself with the LMP2 car again after Le Mans last year. It was nice to work with the team again. The WEC Sebring round is going to be pretty tough. It’s a big grid this year but I feel much better prepared now after this as I think the whole team does.”
“What an amazing result for the team. Josh has performed brilliantly, you’d never know it was his first event with United Autosports and only his second LMP2 race. I can’t wait to see his progress throughout the year in the FIA WEC.”
“It’s been a perfect weekend. Two poles, two wins and two fastest laps, its been pretty faultless. You can’t really get any better. I think we were fastest in all the pit stops as well, which is good from a team perspective. We have achieved everything we set out to achieve here. Paul was the ultimate pro and delivered in qualifying, but Josh has exceeded all expectations at this point. It’s quite an incredible performance from him. He’s certainly got all the P2 pit lane talking. It’s an exciting year ahead for Josh.”