American-British LMP2 outfit United Autosports confirmed it will campaign a pair of ORECA LMP2 cars in the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship season, with driver Filipe Albuquerque also returning for a sixth season with the team to pilot one of the entries.
Albuquerque, the reigning FIA WEC and ELMS LMP2 Champion, first joined United Autosports when the team made its LMP2 debut back in 2017. That season, in a Ligier JSP217 chassis, he scored an ELMS race win alongside Hugo de Sadeleer and Will Owen at the opening round of the 2017 season at Silverstone en route to a second place finish in the championship.
In 2018, he then teamed up with Phil Hanson for the start of a partnership that has spanned the last four seasons. More wins came in both 2018 and 2019, with a run of 13 consecutive podiums starting from the ELMS race at Spa in 2019 and running throughout their record-breaking year in 2020. With 15 podiums out of the last 17 races, Albuquerque is now one of the most successful endurance racing drivers currently racing.
During his time with United Autosports, he has won two championships and scored 14 race wins, 21 podiums and 11 pole positions.
“I’m super happy to be able to continue with United Autosports for 2022 and to once again enter the WEC and Le Mans,” Albuquerque said. “United are the team I’ve been with the longest in my career, which says a lot. It makes sense for us to continue together, we know each other so well and every year it feels more and more like a family.
“Knowing everyone is great and their work method is unbelievable, so I can’t wait to continue into 2022 going for more wins, which is exactly what we have been doing so far. I want to thank (co-owners) Richard (Dean) and Zak (Brown) for the trust they have shown in me. The results from my side obviously help, but it’s great to be working again with the whole team. Of course, I want to continue being part of the team getting such great results.”
Super happy to sign again with United AutoSports.
With this, it’s going to be my the 6th season together pic.twitter.com/lN0j9zqIR1
— Filipe Albuquerque (@AlbuquerqueFil) August 26, 2021
United Autosports has also revealed that its second ORECA will feature 15-year-old American racer Josh Pierson, who will turn 16 years old in February 2022. As part of the program, he is set to become the youngest ever starter in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours. The remaining drivers on the roster are still to be announced.
While United Autosports has campaigned multi-car efforts in the ELMS, Asian Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup, 2022 is set to be its first two-car full-season program in the ACO’s premier championship, the FIA WEC.
“I’m so pleased to be able to welcome Filipe back to the team for a sixth year,” Dean said. “It’s crazy to think he’s been racing with us for that long, but we have had so much success together, it made sense to continue that relationship. I’m also thrilled to be able to confirm we are going to enter two ORECA LMP2 cars into the WEC next year as well, with Filipe in one car and our recently announced driver, Josh Pierson in the other.”