Garforth-based United Autosports has announced that Portuguese driver Filipe Albuquerque has joined the team to pilot its 2017 European Le Mans Series LMP2 entry. Sharing the driving duties will be American Will Owen and Swiss-born Hugo de Sadeleer.
Albuquerque has an impressive sports car and prototype CV, having first raced in GTs in the 2009 Italian GT Championship. He became an Audi factory driver in 2011 and has competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series, the Spa 24 Hours, the Blancpain Endurance Series and, most recently, the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona where, along with Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa, he finished second in the Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi.
As 2016 European Le Mans LMP3 champions, United Autosports has received an invitation to the 2017 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer have already been announced as part of the Le Mans driver line-up with the third driver yet to be announced.
Albuquerque is delighted to have the chance to race in the European Le Mans Series with United Autosports.
“I am really happy to join United Autosports,” said Albuquerque. “They are a very experienced team – they won the LMP3 ELMS last year so they really know what they are doing. This year will be my third ELMS season. I have been close to winning it before (with Jota Sport in 2014) and I will work hard to make it happen this year especially finishing again in Portugal at a track that I really like.”
“It’s great that a very experienced, race-winning driver like Filipe has committed to the team for our LMP2 ELMS challenge,” commented Team Owner and Chairman Zak Brown. “We have a really strong line up in our LMP2 car now and I’m looking forward to seeing how we get on. The two LMP3 line-ups are just as strong so I’m feeling confident going into 2017.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, is also confident that the team has the right driver line-up for its LMP2 entry.
“We have been chasing a top line experienced and proven race winner to complete our line-up in LMP2,” said Dean. “Filipe is everything we have been looking for. His ability to bring on our two exciting young prospects was a key factor in this decision. Having Filipe in our team is reassuring and confidence–inspiring and I think shows our intentions to attack 2017 in the same way we did LMP2 in 2016.”
The first round of the 2017 European Le Mans Series will be held at Silverstone on April 15.