United Autosports win at Snetterton
- Andrew Evans and Christian England take maiden win
- Double podium for team at penultimate Henderson Insurance LMP3 Cup Championship round
- Bad luck for championship contenders Tony Wells and Matt Bell in race one
United Autosports scored another win in the Henderson Insurance LMP3 Cup Championship this weekend (12-13 August) as Christian England and Andrew Evans scored their debut win in the #2 Ligier JS P3.
The pairing started both races from pole position, thanks to Christian England’s two qualifying times set before both Saturday and Sunday’s races. Christian started both races and quickly stretched out a lead ahead of the rest of the field. Once Andrew took over the wheel, he got his head down and despite a spin towards the end of the first race he brought the car home to take their first podium of the year. During the second race, Christian pitted to hand the car over to Andrew with a 28 second lead. Unfortunately, a one-second stop and go penalty for a pit stop infringement reduced the gap, but Andrew rejoined the race in the lead and drove a great race to hold off pressure from Devon Modell and Colin Noble on his way to claiming his and Christian’s maiden win in the championship.
Tony Wells and Matt Bell had a less fortunate weekend after suspected engine oil pump failure at the start of race one resulted in a loss of steering and a long night changing the engine for the team. During the start of the second race, Tony accidentally made contact with the rear of Christian’s Ligier leaving him with a damaged front splitter, affecting the handling of the car. Tony pitted and handed the car over to Matt in fourth, while the team made brief repairs to the front end. During his stint, Matt caught the leading pack, who for the last 15 minutes of the race were all within two seconds of each other.
The championship now moves to the final round at Donington Park on 16-17 September, where United Autosports will be fielding a third Ligier JS P3 for Sir Chris Hoy and Sports Insure Young Driver competition winner, Sandy Mitchell.
Christian England, driver, #2 United Autosports:
“I’m really pleased with the results this weekend. Obviously Andrew is quite new to the championship, the car and the circuits so it’s been tough for him. There might not have been that many cars out but the pace is as strong as any championship and he’s been getting better and better. I handed the car over to him in the lead and he brought the car home for the victory – he kept his head and brought it home. I think it helps that he’s tested here previously and that will go in our favour for Donington too.”
Andrew Evans, driver, #2 United Autosports:
“It feels great to get my first win in the UK. It was awesome to be able to pull it all together. The whole team and Christian have done a great job to be able to put us in this position. I was coming under pressure from the guys behind towards the end of the second race but I managed to keep it together and bring the car home. Hopefully we can carry on this momentum into Donington."
Tony Wells, driver, #3 United Autosports:
“This weekend didn’t quite work out as planned unfortunately. We had issues with the car on Saturday and then I made a slight error at the start of the second race as Christian braked earlier than I was expecting, which broke the splitter and gave me horrendous understeer. I think I put up a robust defence against Alasdair [McCaig], but I had to back off as I came up against a back marker and then he got me – I could have lunged to keep the place but I would have ended up taking him out and I didn’t want to do that! We will just look forward to Donington now.”
Matt Bell, driver, #3 United Autosports:
“The car was slightly compromised in the second race, which was a shame as we were looking forward to making up for what happened in the first race. Surprisingly I managed to keep up with Colin [Noble] in front as I thought he would just pull away and disappear. We caught the lead and second placed cars but there was very little I could do unless someone made a mistake, which they didn’t. We are going all out at Donington though – two wins, two poles and two fastest laps!”
Max Gregory, Team Manager, United Autosports:
“The Snetterton weekend was mixed for us as Christian and Andrew did a great job clinching their first podium and then their first win of the championship. I’m really pleased for them as Andrew has been improving every time he goes out in the Ligier JS P3. Tony and Matt were less fortunate, having engine issues in the first race and then contact in the second race meaning they were unable to capitalise on their success so far this season. Unfortunately, the championship battle is now over, but we will be aiming to end on a high in the final races at Donington.”