United Autosports has withdrawn its entry from Petit Le Mans as it would distract the focus and resources away from their FIA European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series campaigns, according to team boss Richard Dean.
The team’s Ligier JS P217 was set to race for a final time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the fourth of the four North American Endurance Cup races, but with the race falling between the Spa-Francorchamps and Algarve European Le Mans events, while they will also be shipping equipment to Shanghai for the first round of the Asian Le Mans championship.
That coupled with the fact that only one of their designated drivers – Phil Hanson – would be available that weekend, has made them make the decision to pull out of the event. Bruno Senna will have Rebellion Racing commitments at Fuji that weekend, while Paul di Resta will be racing in the DTM Series at the Hockenheimring.
“Petit falls in a period between the Spa and Algarve ELMS rounds and at time when our equipment needs to be shipped to Shanghai for the start of the Asian series,” said Dean to Motorsport.com.
“There is a logistical issue, and it didn’t make sense to go to Petit and compromise either our European or Asian programmes.”
United Autosports has also recently confirmed that they will not return to the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona with their Ligier’s in 2019 after the decision by IMSA to split up the prototype class and make the LMP2 class a Pro-Am class secondary to the Daytona Prototype international’s.