- Successful official ELMS Prologue for United Autosports
- John Falb and Sean Rayhall set fastest LMP3 time overall
- Valuable track time for LMP2 team at Italian circuit
Reigning LMP3 Champions United Autosports set the fastest overall LMP3 time at the official ELMS Prologue at Monza this week (28-29 March).
The Anglo-American team ran their pair of ELMS Ligier JS P3s and their single Ligier JS P217 at the Italian circuit as the European series kicked off its 2017 season.
John Falb and Sean Rayhall in the #2 Ligier JS P3 set the fastest overall time of the LMP3 grid with a time of 1:45:219, nearly half a second clear of the rest of the field.
In the #3 LMP3 car, Mark Patterson, Wayne Boyd and Christian England were consistently in the top six during all four sessions, which were filled with red flag stoppages and Full Course Yellow caution periods.
The Ligier JS P217 of Will Owen, Hugo de Sadeleer and Filipe Albuquerque gained some valuable dry-weather mileage after four wet days of pre-season testing earlier in the year.
The first round of the European Le Mans Series is on 14-15 April at Silverstone, UK.
John Falb (US), driver #2, United Autosports:
Born: Dallas, Texas. Lives: Las Vegas, Nevada. Age: 45
“We had a great couple of days weather wise and the track was a lot of fun. It’s very, very fast and I really enjoyed it. Sean had a good run in the morning session on day two, setting the fastest time. Combined with a great team we should have a good consistent year and I’m excited to get going.”
Sean Rayhall (US), driver #2, United Autosports:
Born/Lives: Atlanta, Georgia. Age: 22
“The Prologue at Monza was excellent. John did an awesome job. John, Gary and the whole team did an awesome job and I think as a team we made some gains with the car. I believe we are going to have a good race when we come back here in May – everyone is doing the same preparation, but I’m pretty happy with where we ended up.”
Mark Patterson (US), driver #3, United Autosports:
Born: Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Lives: Montana, USA. Age: 65
“The Prologue was phenomenal – we were one of the only cars that didn’t cause a red or yellow flag! All three drivers have been fantastic. We’ve been at the top end of the grid the whole time so I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Wayne Boyd (GB), driver #3, United Autosports:
Born: Belfast, Northern Ireland. Lives: Templepatrick, Northern Ireland. Age: 26
“Monza was pretty good. Christian and I have never been before but we’ve left here prepared and knowing the track quite well. We all got plenty of laps over the two days and learnt a lot so we are looking forward to the race now.”
Christian England (GB), driver #3, United Autosports:
Born: Barnsley, UK. Lives: Huddersfield, UK. Age: 35
“It was the first time I’ve driven round Monza, but we have had a good few days here with some god weather on a good track. I think as a driver line-up we are looking pretty strong so roll on Silverstone.”
Will Owen (US), driver #32, United Autosports:
Born: Plano, Texas. Lives: Denver, Colorado. Age: 22
“There was a lot to learn on the first day at Monza but it has been a positive experience overall. The car is so fast! After the second day I felt more confident with the brakes and the car as a whole. I think as a package we are all feeling better and looking forward to Silverstone.”
Hugo de Sadeleer (CH), driver #32, United Autosports:
Born: Lausanne, Switzerland. Lives: Monaco. Age: 19
“It’s been a great few days in sunny Monza. We all got some good track time, but the LMP2 car is a lot different to what I’m used to around a circuit like this. Having said that, these two days have been a big confidence booster going into Silverstone.”
Filipe Albuquerque (P), driver #32, United Autosports:
Born/Lives: Coimbra, Portugal. Age: 31
“We were very lucky with the weather in Monza so we could cover the points we had planned. It was important for Will to learn the track – Hugo knew the circuit already and was a big help. We are among the fastest so that is good news. We still have work to do but we are already at a good level for Silverstone.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:
“It’s been a tough three days at Monza, but a good outcome to be quickest overall with the number two LMP3 car. We are still learning with the LMP2 car. We are a little bit behind with having most of our pre-season test days ruined with wet weather but we are encouraged with the pace of Will, Hugo and Filipe. I think the LMP3 team will start where they left off at Silverstone last year when we got a one-two finish. We had our Michelin Le Mans Cup cars and drivers here too – Richard Meins, Shaun Lynn, Jim McGuire and Matt Bell. We had some unfortunate accidents with both cars, but the team did a great job to get Matt and Jim back out for the final part of the afternoon session today. I’m looking forward to heading to Silverstone now and to see how we get on.”