United Autosports has committed to a full-time entry to the World Endurance Championship LMP2 division for the 2019/20 season.

The Anglo-American squad, which is co-owned by McLaren Formula 1 boss Zak Brown, won the final two events of the 2018 European Le Mans Series and has also participated in the Le Mans 24 Hours for the past two years. 

It will now enter the WEC LMP2 class for the first time next season with regular drivers Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque behind the wheel of a Ligier-Gibson JSP217, along with a yet-to-be-announced third driver.

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“We are pleased to be able to announce our entry into the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship,” said Brown.

“It has been the aim for United Autosports to enter the world championship for a while, but everything needed to fall into place so we could do it at the right time. We feel that now is the right time.

“We have developed a great relationship with Phil and Filipe and they make a fantastic pairing. We are still working on the third driver but for now, we are excited for what 2019 brings.”

Team owner and managing director Richard Dean added: “It’s been no secret that we have been trying to put a deal together to race in the FIA World Endurance Championship for some time now.

“It has relied on a lot of factors fitting together but I think it is the perfect time for United Autosports to make the next step in sports car racing.

“We have two great drivers in Phil and Filipe. Filipe really has brought Phil on in only one year of working with him, so I’m confident that will only continue into the coming years.

“We have ultimate belief in Ligier Automotive and relish this opportunity to take on a world championship with their full support.

“The championship visits some fantastic circuits too - some we have been to before and some will be new to us, but I’m looking forward to the new challenge ahead.”

Albuquerque, who won the final two ELMS rounds alongside Hanson, spoke of his personal goals in the WEC, describing the series as “unfinished business” for him.

“I’m super happy to be back in the FIA WEC, I feel I have unfinished business there,” he explained.

“I finished P2 in 2016 in LMP2 so now with Phil Hanson and United I think we really have the package to win.

"It’s two years almost to the day that I met Zak and Richard and I could never believe our partnership would have got to this point.

“I’m excited to be racing in the 2019 ELMS and then going into the FIA WEC with them.

“It’s a good relationship we have together and we have been winning some races so why not continue and let’s see where we end up.”

Hanson added: “I think it’s the obvious next step for us, having done the ELMS, Asian Le Mans Series and selected rounds of IMSA, including Daytona.

“I’m looking forward to continuing with United too. They have nurtured me and helped my development as a driver significantly in the last year so I’m looking forward to continuing with the team in a very professional environment and racing on a truly global platform.”