Yesterday (Sunday 16) United Autosports celebrated their fifth European Le Mans Series podium of the seasonthousandOctober) at 4 o’clock in Portimao. The Ligier team of Josh Cagill, Finn Gersitz and Bailey Voisin finished second in LMP3, overcoming extremely difficult track conditions caused by intermittent rain in Portugal.

The result at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve was United’s 34th LMP3 podium since the series debuted in the category in 2016 and the team’s seventh at the Portimao circuit since 2017.

Unfortunately, in today’s championship final, the other United cars did not take the podium. Jim McGuire, Kay Van Berla and Andrew Bentley were close behind to finish just 3.5 seconds off the LMP3 podium, crossing the line fourth – and unfortunately the #22 car of Duncan Tappy, Tom Gamble and Phil Hanson retired from the race. final hour with the LMP2 podium in their hands.

The United trio started fifth (No. 22 – LMP2), third (No. 3 – LMP3) and eighth (No. 2 – LMP3) in the 40-car multi-class grid. Unlike the previous days, when the Algarve had clear blue skies and hot weather, it was cloudy, cooler and the track was wet after the rain.

Despite the greasy conditions, the entire field started on slick tires – the track dried out quickly. After the first hour, the #22 Oreca was sixth overall, having briefly finished second at the start. In LMP3, the #2 car finished third in class, with the #3 car in 11ththousand – the last one, having served his sentence for motor transport.

In the middle distance No. 22 became the fourth. In LMP3, the #2 finished second, with the #3 just behind in 5ththousand and it’s raining again.

With 90 minutes remaining, the No. 22 was second, but entering the final hour, Hanson – on slicks during his first push lap – spun into the gravel on the greasy track, battling for third, dropping to seventh. In LMP3, the Nos. 2 and 3 were third and fifth with an hour to go.

At the checkered flag, the No. 2’s runner-up finish was his second podium of the season, finishing second at the Paul Ricard opener. With the increase in points, the #2 car finished seventh in the LMP3 team standings.

The Imola race-winning #3 car came home fourth at Portimao to finish sixth overall in the LMP3 teams’ standings.

Finally, the Spa race-winning #22 car, which also finished second at Imola, retired from the race after a spin and subsequent damage, finishing third in the teams’ championship.

#22 Phil Hanson (UK) / Tom Gamble (UK) / Duncan Tappy (UK)
Qualifying (LMP2): 5th (TG). Race (LMP2): DNF

Duncan: “Everything looked good for us today, but the conditions were super difficult. My goal was to keep it on track and pass it safely, which I did. Luck hasn’t been on our side in a few races this season, but we’ve always had a good pace. Many thanks to Richard [Dean] for trusting me to run #22 with Phil and Tom.’

Tom: “There was just over an hour left in the season and we were finishing the season in second place and then to get a DNF is terrible. It’s a tough end to the year, but that’s motorsport. It was a difficult race, the conditions were terrible, sometimes the rain ended, and the car was slippery.”

Phil: “I let the team down today and it’s very disappointing. I came out of the pits in fourth place on slicks in the rain and, trying to get third, I lost the car and ended up in the gravel at Turn 11. I eventually got going again, but the floor was badly damaged and there was a problem with the grip.’

#2 Josh Cagill (UK) / Bailey Voisin (UK) / Finn Gersitz (Germany)
Qualification (LMP3): 8th place (BV). Race (LMP3): 2nd

Josh: “Mega way to end the season. We knew we had a strong car in terms of race pace. We had a clean race and avoided problems in very difficult conditions. It’s nice to finally get another top result with P2 at Ricard, which has eluded us in recent races.”

Finn: “It was such a tough race. I was on my slicks and it started raining again. It was not easy for all three of us, but we did not make a mistake, which was the main thing. We all worked hard and improved the car with each session. It’s a great way to end the season.”

Bailey: “Second place is a fantastic way to end the season after starting the year in second place. We’ve been unlucky this season so to end the season on a high is definitely what we need and well deserved. The team has done a fantastic job for us throughout the season.”

#3 Jim McGuire (USA) / Kay Van Berla (NED) / Andrew Bentley (UK)
Qualified (LMP3): 3rd (KvB). Race (LMP3): 4th

Jim: “Today’s race was bittersweet. It’s the end of the year – my sixth year at United – and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, so it’s sad that this is the last race. Unfortunately, with a couple of minutes to go, FCY cost us a potential podium to end the year – which would have been incredible. But the takeaway is a great result with P4.”

Kay: “Very pleased, but with a couple more laps we would have been third. We were very fast this weekend and our race pace was good in difficult conditions. It was an enjoyable season and improved with each race. We’ve all made great progress.”

Andrew: “I have to be happy and proud to finish fourth but to have been so close to finishing third, I’m a bit disappointed. We all did our best today and were unlucky with FCY. The conditions were tough but we all had a clean race with a good pace.”

The source. United Autosports