Matt Bell will return to the European Le Mans Series with United Autosports in 2018 in the #3 Ligier JS P3 after a year in the Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup, with his 2017 team-mate Tony Wells also making the move.
The duo finished as runner-up in the LMP3 Cup last season, and will be joined by Canadian racer Garett Grist, who moves to European competition after spending his career to date in the United States.
Bell raced in the first year of LMP3 in European Le Mans back in 2016 with United Autosports, and alongside Wayne Boyd and Mark Patterson finished fifth in the championship standings, taking three podium finishes along the way.
“It’s great to be returning to United Autosports with Tony,” said Bell. “We had a lot of success in the British LMP3 Cup last year and we’re hoping to carry that onto the European stage in 2018.
“The sole focus will be going for the championship win so the pressure will be on, but having worked with Tony last season I think we’ll definitely have the pace to challenge for the top spot all year.
“I’m also looking forward to welcoming Garett into the team. He arrives with some great credentials from his racing in the States, so I think we’ll be a very competitive trio.”
Wells is delighted to be continuing his partnership both with Bell and with United Autosports into 2018, and is hoping to take some of the momentum the duo had in the LMP3 Cup last year.
“I am so excited to be teaming up again with United Autosports and Matt for this year’s ELMS, and I’m looking forward to welcoming Garett to the team,” said Wells. “We had a great 2017 in the LMP3 Cup with four wins and I’m hoping to keep that momentum going this year in Europe.
“United Autosports is a great learning environment, super competitive but having laugh at the same time – great combination. I better make sure I’m on the pace!”
Grist is a new addition to the United Autosports stable, and took a Prototype Challenge class victory in Petit Le Mans at the end of 2017 with Tomy Drissi and John Falb for BAR1 Motorsports, with the Canadian eager to get the season started.
“I’d like to thank United Autosports for the opportunity they have instilled in me to defend their ELMS LMP3 Championship title,” said Grist. “I am certain that between Matt (Bell) and Tony (Wells) we will be capable of competing for victories during every single round of the European Le Mans Series.
“A massive thank you is due to Richard Dean for believing in my ability as well as John Falb, whose reference after our Petit Le Mans victory together made this all possible.
“April can’t get here fast enough as I am ecstatic to be racing on so many historic circuits.”