Paul di Resta will return to United Autosports to defend his LMP2 crown at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the Anglo-American team field a three-car entry into the event.
Di Resta captured the class win in 2020 alongside Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque, their fourth win en route to the LMP2 title in the FIA World Endurance Championship. He also took class pole in the first ever Hyperpole qualifying session.
The ex-F1 driver is not part of the team’s full-season WEC line-up in 2021, as Hanson and Albuquerque are instead joined by Fabio Scherer.
“It’s great news to announce that we are going back to the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours,” said Di Resta. “It’s nice to be part of that journey again and trying to retain the win that we got with Phil and Filipe last year. It’s obviously a different set up this year, but it’ll be interesting to see how it goes with my new team mates when they are announced.
“I think it’s good that the ACO have taken action early with changing the date of the race to allow people to prepare. I’m definitely looking forward to going racing again.
“LMP2 looks very strong once again and Le Mans is the best race in the world to get to grips with, so it can’t come soon enough. Till then I’ll be doing as much as I can to get integrated into the team again and with my new team mates.
“I really appreciate the efforts from both Richard and Zak to get me back into it.”
The Scotsman will be driving the #23 ORECA 07-Gibson, with his team-mates to be confirmed at a later date. Hanson, Albuquerque and Scherer will drive the #22 ORECA, while Nico Jamin is the sole confirmed driver for the team’s #32 car.
This fourth Le Mans start with United Autosports will likely be the last one for Di Resta, as he will move on to be part of Peugeot’s Hypercar line-up for the 2022 season.
“I’m pleased we can welcome Paul back into the team, he played such an important role in our success at the 24 hours last year and in securing our first WEC title in 2020,” Richard Dean said. “Le Mans is the big one and we want to make sure that we can defend our win from last year, so having three great line ups is an important step towards that goal.
“We were lucky enough to be in the unique position to have won six automatic invites to the race, but with the regulations the way they are, can only take up two of the entries that we won.
“We will be working hard with all three of our cars and drivers between now and August to make sure we are in the best position possible going into our fifth Le Mans 24 Hours.”