Bahrain holds key to Wakefield team’s title hopes

DESPITE a mixed season by their own high standards, United Autosports could still claim the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship drivers’ and teams’ titles at the season-ending double-header in Bahrain.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 11:16 pm
TITLE MISSION: United Autosports will be aiming for title glory in the FIA World Endurance season-ending double header in Bahrain which begins this weekend. Picture: United Autosports.

The Wakefield-based team are the defending champions in the LMP2 category and will be in action this morning in the 6 Hours of Bahrain today before returning to the same venue next Saturday for the championship finale – the 8 Hours of Bahrain.

Driving trio Phil Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque and Fabio Scherer will again be on duty for United Autosports with 2020 champion Hanson still in contention to lift the 2021 drivers’ crown.

“I’m looking forward to the double-header at Bahrain, especially as the championship is still very much up for grabs,” said British driver Hanson, who sits in fourth place in the driver standings – 13 points behind joint leaders Sean Gelael and Stoffel Vandoorne.

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“It’s going to be cool to race in Bahrain during the daytime as the last two times I’ve raced there it has been at night. The temperatures will be interesting. It’s going to be incredibly hot!”

The team enjoyed a strong start to the season, scoring a dominant pole position and a race win at the opening round at Spa Francorchamps in May.

They went on to finish third in Portimao, with Paul Di Resta and Wayne Boyd racing alongside Hanson, before Albuquerque and Scherer returned to the team to win again with Hanson at Monza in July.

However, the Le Mans 24 Hours proved a disappointing event for the #22 crew after winning the race in 2020. The team are looking to return to winning ways at Bahrain following their victory at the final round of the 2021 European Le Mans Series at Portimao last weekend.

“It’s been an up and down WEC season for us,” added United’s co-owner Richard Dean. “The highs of winning at Spa and Monza, the substitutions we had at Portimao and then the difficult race we had a Le Mans, but coming off the back of a win at Portimao for the final ELMS race we are confident we can get our WEC championship defence back on track.”

United Autosports are currently in fourth place in the LMP2 teams’ championship, just 13 points behind leader Jota.