McLaren Automotive and United Autosports LMGT3 EVOs in the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship in Qatar
McLaren Automotive and United Autosports LMGT3 EVOs in the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship in Qatar

This weekend, McLaren Automotive and United Autosports made their GT debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship, crossing the line P13 (#95) and P14 (#59) after almost ten hours of racing action in the Qatar 1812KM.

The black and papaya liveried line-up have demonstrated strong pace from the off at Lusail International Circuit, with Gregoire Saucy (#59) posting the fastest LMGT3 lap time in the Prologue earlier this week and Nico Pino (#95) topping the timesheets in FP1.

On the first lap of the Qatar 1812KM however, the #59 McLaren GT3 Evo of James Cottingham, Nicolas Costa and Gregoire Saucy suffered contact, leading to broken rear suspension and a 17-minute visit to the box for emergency repairs. The #59 crew re-joined the race seven laps down and battled valiantly to the end, putting down competitive lap times and gathering valuable data along the way. 

Meanwhile, the #95 crew of Marino Sato, Nico Pino and Josh Caygill - who started mid-field in P8 - had a clean start, moving up to P7 at the three-hour mark before technical issues slowed progress in the second half. Numerous trips to the box were compounded by two penalties for track limits infringements - but the team acted quickly to fix the issues, served the penalties and ultimately crossed the line P13 under the floodlights of Lusail. 

The next race in the WEC calendar is the 6 Hours of Imola (Sunday 21st April). Stay up to date in the meantime on social @unitedautosports.  

Gregoire Saucy, James Cottingham and Nicolas Costa
Gregoire Saucy, James Cottingham and Nicolas Costa



Gregoire Saucy: “The race didn’t start the way we wanted it to … there was a collision on lap one that caused damage. But after that, we showed good pace to the end. James [Cottingham] is one of the fastest bronzes here and Nicolas Costa is one of the fastest silvers. I’m confident for the rest of the season.”

James Cottingham: “The whole week has been amazing from start to finish. Arriving in this paddock … in this series, with all these amazing people around us … Kubica, Schumacher, Button. I’ve had some real pinch me moments. United Autosports and McLaren have done a great job, coming from zero to where we are now in a matter of only months. Sadly, the lap one incident was unavoidable for Nicolas - that was really unfortunate. But the three of us have had a solid week working together and there’s plenty more to come. I can’t wait to get to Imola, I wish it was next weekend!”

Nicolas Costa: “Our race was compromised on lap one by a questionable move from a LMGT3, hitting us in the rear and bending our rear toe link. We had to go into the pits, change it all … and we lost seven laps in the process. Apart from that, our car had great pace. It felt really good and I think we could have ended up in the top five. Now we look forward to Imola.”

Marino Sato, Nico Pino and Josh Caygill
Marino Sato, Nico Pino and Josh Caygill




Marino Sato: “There has been a lot going on … getting the car at the end of last year, testing only a few days and then coming to Qatar. So I’m happy we brought the car to the checkered flag. We were carrying some minor issues that we had to manage, which was challenging for both the drivers and the team … I’m really proud of everyone. Now we need to have a deep look into the data and get ready for Imola.”

Nico Pino: “We had the pace at the beginning, the car was very strong and it was looking positive … but we ran into some issues that we had to assess and fix. And I made a few track limit mistakes which cost us penalties throughout the race … I will learn from that. Huge thank you to the team for all their hard work – the mechanics, engineers, everyone.”

Josh Caygill: “My first WEC race has been a mega experience. We’ve been strong through testing and we have much better pace than the results show today. There’s lots of things we can learn from too. We’ll come back stronger with the knowledge we’ve gained in Qatar. Even though it’s not the result we wanted, it’s given us a strong base for the next race in Imola.”


Richard Dean, United Autosports CEO: “It’s been a lot of work to get here in the short period of time since this project kickstarted. There are lots of positives … there is lots of pace in the car and we’re super happy with the driver line-up. The team and McLaren have worked so hard to be here so qualifying with both cars through to Hyperpole was a real boost. During the race we had some incidents on track and a couple of technical issues, but everyone pushed hard to get both cars through the Qatar 1812KM for the first ever race of the new LMGT3 era.” 

Mick McDonagh, Director of MSO Motorsport, McLaren Automotive“We are proud to be part of the World Endurance Championship and to be on the grid for our debut race here in Qatar. We will take away a huge amount of positives from the weekend given the short period of time that both ourselves, and United Autosports, have had to prepare for the programme. I’d like to thank both the team at Woking and United Autosports for their hard work and dedication to ensure that both cars raced competitively to the finish. I’m confident that we will continue to build momentum as we head to the next round at Imola.”