LEEDS, England – United Autosports has confirmed that Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque will return to the team to compete in the European Le Mans Series next year.
The duo raced together for the first time in 2018, winning the final two races of the year at Belgium’s Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and Portugal’s Algarve Int’l Circuit. They eventually finished fourth in the European Le Mans Series team’s championship after a tough start to the year.
“There’s no doubt Phil and Filipe are a winning combination as we have shown this year so I’m confident of some good results in 2019. Our aim is the title so it’s full steam ahead for that,” said Zak Brown, team owner and chairman of United Autosports.
The 2019 season will mark Hanson’s second year with the team, where he became the youngest European Le Mans Series race winner at Spa in September. Hanson will also race with the team when it makes its Asian Le Mans Series debut later this month, where he’ll be joined by Paul Di Resta.
“I’m really excited for the 2019 season. We had a rocky start to 2018 but ended on a real high with a third and two wins, which sets me up really well for 2019,” said Hanson. “Most importantly I’m very happy to stay with the United family for another year. It’s a great environment, I love everyone here and it’s a good learning experience. I couldn’t be happier with the driver line up too. It’s a race winning line up as we have seen in the last two races this year and I think we could be really strong next year. The calendar has changed a little bit, I’ve only tested once at Barcelona once so it will be interesting to go and race there. I’m familiar with all the other tracks so hopefully 2019 will be my strongest season yet.”
Albuquerque is returning to United Autosports for the third consecutive year after joining the team for its LMP2 debut in 2017. He raced alongside Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer, finishing second in the championship. Albuquerque won’t be able to join Hanson at the opening round at France’s Circuit Paul Ricard due to his IMSA racing commitments. His replacement will be announced in the coming weeks.
“I’m really happy to join United Autosports again for the third consecutive year,” said Albuquerque. “It just shows that both parties are super happy with what we are doing. I have found a family that I really enjoy racing with and together I think we are doing a great job. We had a hard start to the 2018 season, but we stuck together and managed to turn it around to get some wins. We are heading into 2019 with a better understanding of the car so hopefully we will be able to have a successful season and snatch the ELMS title.”