United Autposports have contributed Paul Di Resta‘s early exit from the FIA World Endurance Championship‘s opening round to a suspected electrical fault.
Di Resta was at the wheel of the #22 LMP2 ORECA for the start of the 2019 4 Hours of Silverstone, when on lap 2 it ground to a halt on the main straight. This incident was the reason for the first Safety Car of the race.
The team had looked a force to be reckoned with throughout the weekend, taking a clean sweep of fastest laps in class during the practice sessions between Di Resta, Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque. They were just beaten to class pole by the Racing Team Nederland #29, but started in a strong second place. With the pace they had shown over the weekend, they were definitely a favourite to take victory come the chequered flag.
“I made a good start and was comfortably tucked in behind the class leader but on the exit of Stowe I heard a popping sound and then the car immediately lost all drive.” Di Resta stated after the race. “I did a power cycle but the engine wouldn’t fire-up and there was also a little smoke in the cockpit.
“It’s disappointing as having been in the top-two every session we were looking very strong to win or be on the podium at the very least.”
Team Owner and Managing Director, Richard Dean added: “We’ve suffered two unusual electrical issues, in the [European Le Mans Series] race and now in the WEC race. As we’d been in ELMS, having been so competitive in all of the WEC sessions it’s bitterly disappointing. Not only for our drivers but the entire team who have worked very, very hard getting our ELMS and WEC programmes with the ORECA off the ground in a very short space of time.”
The team will come back stronger in two week’s time for the penultimate ELMS round at Spa-Francorchamps and the second WEC round of Season 8, taking place at Fuji Speedway on the 6th October.