SAKHIR, Bahrain (December 16, 2019) - With a pair of events staged in Bahrain and in Abu Dhabi, it was a breakthrough weekend for longtime AERO™ Sustainable Paint Technology-equipped squad United Autosports.
After success in nearly every facet of sports car competition, United Autosports scored its first ever FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) victory on Saturday at the 8 hours of Bahrain. The team which has carried the red, white and blue AERO Paint scheme for several years now stands second in the WEC Team championship.
The victory marked a significant accomplishment on several levels, as United Autosports won on the highest profile championship to date in its first-ever race at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Starting from the pole position, the No. 22 ORECA of Phil Hanson, Paul di Resta and Filipe Albuquerque had a flawless run from start to finish, dominating nearly every hour of the event. The trio held a significant lead for most of the race, ultimately crossing the finish line with a 21.5-second advantage over the second-place finisher.
“An awesome result for United Autosports and I’m very proud of everyone connected with the team,” said United Autosports Team Owner and Chairman, Zak Brown. “We comfortably led the first half of the race, the second half appeared tight at times but our engineers had it all in hand with a superb strategy. All three drivers performed magnificently as did the entire team. Lots of credit goes to Richard [Dean] for building this team.”
The team’s LMP3 effort was also competing in the Middle East, as the 2019 edition of the Gulf 12 Hours took place in Abu Dhabi. The 2017 class winning No. 2 Ligier of Jim McGuire, Richard Meins and Shaun Lynn combined for the split two race event.
Starting from pole, the No. 2 led for the first half of Race 1 before contact brought the Ligier into pit lane for repairs. The car ultimately finished Race 1 in second before coming back to maintain the position for a podium finish after Race 2.
“A mega effort today by all drivers,” said McGuire. “A hard race for us. We got two laps up on our LMP3 rival in Race 1 in my second stint but unfortunately at the last corner of my last lap coming into the pits for a driver-change, a Ferrari went out of control and hit me. It was a tough break that wasn’t really necessary. Six laps down and came up a lap short at the end. A great day to finish the season. Great job by the team. Everything was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to next year’s racing.”
As the 2019 racing season is set to close the chapter on the year, the growing list of AERO Sustainable Paint Technology teams are already full speed ahead on 2020 plans for competition in IndyCar, IMSA, and World Endurance Championships. Providing incredible strength, light weight, and astounding color precision and depth, AERO has rapidly established a reputation as a key ingredient for success on track.