Williams Martini Racing reserve driver and Mercedes DTM driver Paul di Resta will venture into Sportscars for the first time in his career as he joins the United Autosports team for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The move comes a few days after his test with the Williams team as he evaluates a move back to F1 for the 2018 season. With the Rolex 24 taking place in the last week of January, the race should not affect his preparation, but is proof that the 31-year-old is prepared to explore different avenues should his F1 return not pay off.
“I’m really looking forward to racing at Daytona and with United Autosports. I’ve never done a 24-hour race and never raced a prototype so it’s all new to me, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.” said di Resta.
The move has been orchestrated by Zak Brown, who owns the United Autosports, as well as a key partner in the McLaren F1 team.
“Entering a 24-hour race is something I’ve looked at doing before and when Zak asked, I jumped at the opportunity.” Di Resta continued.
“The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona is getting bigger every year, so it’s great to be part of it. I plan to do some testing ahead of the race to get integrated into the team and to get a shot at driving the car prior to heading to Daytona in January.”
Brown added, “I’m pleased we have managed to pull together a deal for Paul to join the team at Daytona. Although he’s not driven our car before, he’s had plenty of racing experience in different categories so I’m confident he will have a good race and enjoy being with the team”
Di Resta will be joined by current European Le Mans champion Will Owen, though the team has yet to announce the co-drivers for the Ligier JS P217. The United Autosports outfit will run two cars though, with Lando Norris and Phil Hansen also confirmed, but not for any specific car.
The Scottish star finished the 2017 season of DTM in eleventh place with one race win and two further podiums.