Who’s new for WEC Season 8? Part 2
A few days ago we discovered who was new for WEC Season 8 out of the LMGTE Am crews, and today we’re focusing on the LMP2 category which welcomes five new teams for 2019/2020.
While LMP1 is a category for manufacturer teams and well-resourced privateers wishing to challenge them, LMP2 is reserved for smaller independent teams with a lower budget.
LMP2 teams are also required to run one silver or bronze-graded amateur driver in their line-ups, to help keep the category accessible – another fundamental difference between LMP1 and LMP2.
For Season 8 a total of eight entries make up the LMP2 category and it is a truly international class with teams coming from North America, Asia and across Europe.
Three teams remain from the previous Super Season including category winners Signatech Alpine Elf [formerly Matmut] in the Alpine A470 - Gibson. Runners-up Jackie Chan DC Racing will be back with the Oreca 07 – Gibson, while Racing Team Nederland will also return to the WEC in a similar car.
British squad JOTA entered its own team for Season 8 with Anthony Davidson, Pastor Maldonado and Roberto Gonzalez confirmed as its driver line-up.
But who else is new?
Ango-American squad United Autosports which is co-owned by McLaren F1 boss Zak Brown will enter WEC for Season 8. Previously a regular in ELMS, United Autosports were LMP3 champions in both 2016 and 2017 and finished ninth overall (fourth in LMP2) at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It’s 22 days until our first @fiawec_official encounter - the Prologue at Barcelona to kick start the 2019/2020 season #BeUnited @PhilHansonRace @PaulDiResta @AlbuquerqueFil @LigierAutomotiv pic.twitter.com/eJh20Ho1dh— United Autosports (@UnitedAutosport) July 1, 2019
United Autosports will drive an Oreca 07 chassis, switching from the Ligier JS P217 they were originally due to drive. Phil Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque and Paul Di Resta are confirmed drivers for the season.
Di Resta spoke positively about the team’s decision to move to the world stage: “I think to continue where we have been with Phil in the Asian Le Mans Series and bringing the first LMP2 championship to the team, the obvious next step is to move into a world championship. It’s good that the driver line-up is a familiar one, with Filipe being part of it too. It’s definitely a challenge I am up for… and one that United are more than capable of taking on.”
Stay tuned for our next story, where we will introduce three more LMP2 teams: Cetilar Racing, Cool Racing and High Class Racing.