United Autosports withdraws from Petit Le Mans
The United Autosports LMP2 squad has withdrawn from the Petit Le Mans IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round in October.
The European Le Mans Series team had been due to contest the 10-hour race at Road Atlanta on October 13 with a single Ligier JS P217 as part of its assault on IMSA's four North American Endurance Cup races.
The withdrawal is linked to United's decision not to return to the Rolex 24 Hours series opener next January after IMSA opted to move the LMP2 cars into a separate pro-am class secondary to the DPi machinery for 2019.
United has decided to contest the Asian Le Mans Series with two previous-generation Ligier-Nissan JSP2s after opting out of Daytona.
United boss Richard Dean told Motorsport.com: "Petit falls in a period between the Spa and Algarve ELMS rounds and at time when our equipment needs to be shipped to Shanghai for the start of the Asian series.
"There is a logistical issue, and it didn't make sense to go to Petit and compromise either our European or Asian programmes."
Dean explained that a lack of driver availability was a secondary reason for the Petit withdrawal, with Phil Hanson being United's only confirmed driver for the race.
Bruno Senna, who raced for United at the Daytona and Sebring NAEC rounds, is due to be on duty for Rebellion in the FIA World Endurance Championship round at Fuji.
Paul di Resta, who also did the Watkins Glen 6 Hours in July, will be racing for Mercedes at the DTM finale at Hockenheim on the weekend of Petit.
United's withdrawal means there are unlikely to be any Ligiers on the grid for Petit after PR1/Mathiasen announced it is switching from the JS P217 to the Oreca 07 ahead of next month's Laguna Seca IMSA round.
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