- #22 has now achieved top-seven finishes in all three races to date
- #2 unfortunate not to claim second podium of the year having consistently led
- Maximum attack for remaining races in Spain, Belgium and Portugal
United Autosports travel to Spain next month handily placed fourth in the European Le Mans Series LMP2 Teams’ Championship plus third (#3) and fifth (#2) in the LMP3 Teams’ division following the latest race in Italy today (3 Jul) with everything still to fight for at the mid-point of the season.
In LMP2, #22 (Phil Hanson/Tom Gamble/Duncan Tappy) achieved a hard-earned fifth place with a damaged car in the four-hour race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza while in LMP3, #2 (Josh Caygill/Bailey Voisin/Finn Gehrsitz) recorded an unrepresentative fifth after the German made a late race error. #3 started third in LMP3 but went slightly wide exiting Ascari at one-quarter distance, McGuire thankfully walking unaided and uninjured from his damaged Ligier that hit the barriers very hard at high-speed.
Racing in very hot conditions with a “real feel” temperature approaching 40c, #22 ran in the top-five mainly but lay third, less than three-seconds off the lead with 45mins to run. The Oreca suffered a damaged front nose section, missing aero parts affecting downforce, from an opening lap skirmish.
#2 ran consistently inside the LMP3 top-three, leading multiple times for long periods, but Gehrsitz, leading but under intense pressure, made a mistake and spun with 15mins remaining.
#22 Phil Hanson (GB)/Tom Gamble (GB)/Duncan Tappy (GB)
Qualified (LMP2): 7th (TG). Race (LMP2): 5th
Duncan: “I was in a good place to make up positions at the start before an unbelievable series of events with another car. I had had to take to the grass on the straight, it damaged the car for the rest of the race, and I get a time penalty. Unbelievable!”
Phil: “A very difficult weekend but we all did our best. Duncan and Tom did the best they could, giving me a car that was probably placed net second or third but the car lacked performance, especially compared to the cars on fresher tyres and I was a ‘sitting duck’.”
Tom: “Qualifying had not been great for me and then Duncan got forced off the road by another car. There was frontal damage to our car which restricted our pace. The positive to take away is that we earned good points but definitely not the result we hoped for.”
#2 Josh Caygill (GB)/Bailey Voisin (GB)/Finn Gehrsitz (D)
Qualified (LMP3): 4th (FG). Race (LMP3): 5th
Josh: “Unfortunately it wasn’t our day in terms of the final result. The guys in the garage worked really hard for us so I’m disappointed their efforts went unrewarded in difficult conditions. I was happy with my pace in the car so lots of positives to take to Barcelona.”
Bailey: “I had a good stint despite it being a little tricky managing the tyres that were staying on the car at the next driver change. I managed the traffic as best I could. We made good progress with the car throughout the event and deserved a podium.”
Finn: “Qualifying was difficult for me with a Red Flag cancelling out my quick lap. In the race it was a little chaotic as I was on two-stint old tyres and struggled a little with the car. I made a mistake and spun when I was fighting to stay ahead.”
#3 Jim McGuire (USA)/Kay Van Berlo (NED)/Andrew Bentley (GB)
Qualified (LMP3): 3rd (KvB). Race (LMP3): DNF
Jim: “Gutted with the shunt nearing the end of my stint which was very unfortunate. I feel bad for the team who worked so hard all event. A loss of grip coming out of Ascari bit me. We move on and attack the next race in Spain.”
Andrew: “The most important thing is that Jim was perfectly okay after his huge hit. He was very close to finishing a good stint, keeping us on the lead lap, as we knew we had very good race pace. But we’ve made good progress ready for Barcelona.”
Kay: “I was pretty happy with P3 in quali. I had a lap time, good enough for P2, deleted due to track limits. It was disappointing that I didn’t race but pleased Jim is okay. I believe that we would have been fighting for a podium having improved the car throughout the event.”
Managing Director, Max Gregory:
““It’s been a difficult race for us across all three cars, we showed strong pace in both LMP2 and LMP3, but the race didn’t really go our way. Thankfully, Jim walked away from his accident without injury, but it was certainly a shame for Andrew and Kay to not get a racing lap in, especially after their triumph at Imola, the round before.
The #2 LMP3 was looking really strong, having lead the class, a podium was certainly achievable. It was a very unfortunate late incident that dropped them down to fifth, a similar conclusion to the #22 crew who also finished fifth after early contact, through no fault of their own, left them with substantial damage for the remainder. Let’s hope Barcelona is kinder to us.”