United Autosports claims LMP2 victory at Le Mans 24 Hours

United Autosports claims LMP2 victory at Le Mans 24 Hours

The No. 22 United Autosports Oreca 07-Gibson claimed victory in LMP2 at the 92nd running of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

United Autosports won the LMP2 class at the Le Mans 24 Hours as Oliver Jarvis, Bijoy Garg, and Nolan Siegel worked together to give the Anglo-American team their second victory at La Sarthe.

United secured their first victory since the 2020 edition as Jarvis, Garg, and Siegel drove the No. 22 Oreca 07 Gibson to victory, winning by an advantage of 18.651 seconds over the No. 34 Inter Europol Competition car.

A higher than usual number of cars were in contention heading into the final stages of the race due to rain coming at different intervals during the race resulting to several safety car periods which neutralized the race.

The United LMP2 car had lost momentum over the course of the evening when Siegel was assessed a drive-through penalty for colliding with the No. 33 DKR Engineering car at the Ford chicane; however, the unpredictable conditions gave them a chance to reclaim the lead.

Siegel’s impressive morning speed enabled the No. 22 car to reclaim the lead, as the Indianapolis NXT regular overtook Reshad de Gerus’s No. 28 IDEC Sport car to take the lead in the 22nd hour.

After that, Siegel relinquished the driving duty to Jarvis, who made a speedy pit stop during the race’s final downpour giving the British driver a comfortable lead of almost 35 seconds over the Inter Europol, which was in the hands of Clement Novalak.

In the final round of stops, Jarvis was able to work his way ahead of Novalak to secure the victory, although the lead was cut in half as the United car took an extra 13 seconds on the pit road.

Novalak placed second in the Inter Europol car he shares with the reigning race winner Jakub Smiechowski and Vlad Lomko after losing a wheel that caused the No. 34 car to drop off the lead lap on Saturday night.

The IDEC Sport team including de Gerus, Paul Lafargue, and Job van Uitert completed the podium with a time gap of 33 seconds. Meanwhile, Nico Varrone finished fourth overall and first in the Pro-Am class with the No. 183 AF Corse Oreca after making a late pass on Patrick Pilet’s No. 10 Vector Sport. He was less than two seconds away from the final podium berth.

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The No. 183 car that Varrone drove alongside Francois Perrodo and Ben Barnicoat appeared to be an overwhelming favorite for the overall LMP2 victory mid-race, but the second safety car period wiped the advantage of more than two minutes.

Vector’s No. 10 car enjoyed a lengthy run in the lead on Saturday after being one of just two cars to avoid pitting for wet tyres during the race’s first downpour along with the Inter Europol entry, albeit it was eventually offset by the first safety car.

Pilet and teammates Ryan Cullen and Stephane Richelmi eventually finished fifth after failing to challenge the class’s fastest racers in the final laps. The pole-sitting No. 14 AO by TF Sport, driven by Louis Deletraz, PJ Hyett, and Alex Quinn came in sixth overall and second in Pro-Am.

The No. 37Cool Racing driven by the trio of Malthe Jakobsen, Ritomo Miyata, and Lorenzo Fluxa in the European Le Mans Series, was one of the favourites to win and held the lead until an issue in the last hour caused them to fall down the order. The No. 37 car ended up 12th in the class after a 30-minute trip to the garage after Jakobsen’s spin.

Ben Keating’s several offs at the end of the race left United’s Pro-Am car last in class, 25 laps down as he claimed that one of his offs had broken an alternator pulley.

Three LMP2 cars, all of which retired before the halfway point, were unable to finish the race. The No. 9 Proton Competition Oreca was the first to retire; it broke down on the track in the sixth hour and was unable to go any further.

Smoke wafting from the back of the No. 30 Duqueine car forced it to pull off the track later in the evening, while the No. 45 CrowdStrike Racing by APR entry was the last to drop out after losing a wheel in the wee hours of the morning.

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