Phil Hanson eagerly looking forward to more US races

Phil Hanson is already looking forward to making a speedy return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in March after experiencing heartache on his Rolex 24 At Daytona début this weekend (27-28 Jan).

The 2016-17 Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 champion, competing in his first race for the Anglo-American United Autosports team, plus fellow 18-year-old Lando Norris and double former F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso, recorded an unrepresentative 13th in class in their United Autosports Ligier JS P217 sports-prototype in the twice-around-the-clock event in Florida.

The trio clocked-up 718-laps, over 2,500-miles, having looked set for a top-five if not a rostrum finish before delays caused by minor but time-consuming problems.

But Phil, who drove for a total of almost six hours in four separate stints around the demanding 3.6-mile Daytona International Speedway, will now compete in the three remaining Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup events in addition to his already announced six-race ELMS and Le Mans 24 Hour race programme with United.

Indeed, Hanson returns to Florida for the Sebring 12 Hours (17 Mar) before his European campaign gets underway at Paul Ricard (F) in April. The other two prestigious U.S. races are at Watkins Glen (1 Jul) then the Petit Le Mans (13 Oct).

As early as hour four Phil’s Ligier was placed second and remained in the top-six until one-third distance. Hanson took over from the starting Alonso two hours into the race yesterday afternoon and was back in the Ligier just gone 9pm. But just after 10pm last night, his #23 Ligier suffered a right, rear puncture and after a pit-stop for new bodywork, Alonso resuming 11th but over three laps down on the leader.

The former double F1 world champion had recovered to sixth but at 1am suffered a brake problem necessitating a 40mins stop for repairs. Phil impressed with another spell of night driving from 4am but later this morning, a further 10mins were lost due to a throttle sensor issue, before Hanson jumped back into the Ligier just after 10am this morning prior to the Ligier suffering further braking issues.

Hanson can count himself unlucky not to have registered a podium result on his United and Rolex 24 début.


Jun 16
YES P4 @24hoursoflemans Battled hard for 6hrs with #30, we were secs ahead, but it got problem with 40mins remaining. We'll take it after last year's disappointment. I took the chequer - v proud! My sincere thanks to @UnitedAutosport @LigierAutomotiv @gibsontech1 @Michelin_Sport
Jun 16
Fighting like hell for P4. End of . . . nuff said @UnitedAutosport
Jun 16
Hanging in there in P6 @24hoursoflemans @AlbuquerqueFil had a drive thru then we needed to change door when lost side window glass. Still fighting for @UnitedAutosport ... long way still to go!
Jun 15
Out of #22 after first stints in 2019 @24hoursoflemans All good, car handling better than when @AlbuquerqueFil @PaulDiResta drove it. Currently placed P6. Light rain around. Should be back in @UnitedAutosport @LigierAutomotiv around half midnight - that'll be nice! Nite nite x
Jun 14
Town Centre parade was great fun this evening. We're now starting @24hoursoflemans from P6. Qualifying has been good. It's nice to start near the front of the LMP2 field. But now it's all about where we're placed come 3pm on Sunday afternoon @UnitedAutosport @LigierAutomotiv
Jun 14
RT @UnitedAutosport: 📹 sights and sounds of @24hoursoflemans so far #BeUnited @PhilHansonRace @AlbuquerqueFil @PaulDiResta @RyanCullenRace