Hanson gets busy 2018 race season underway at Daytona

Phil embarks on what will be his busiest motor racing season in his short career when the British teenager makes his Rolex 24 At Daytona début this coming weekend (27-28 Jan).

The 2016-17 Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 champion contests his maiden race for United Autosports and lines-up in a star-studded driver roster. Phil, who became the youngest overall finisher in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours by claiming 11th last June – ninth in LMP2 – shares a Ligier JS P217 sports-prototype with Spain’s double former F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso and McLaren F1’s 2018 official test and reserve driver Lando Norris for the twice-around-the-clock marathon in Florida.

Phil Hanson will race the LMP2 at the Rolex at Daytona 24 Hours
Eighteen-year-old Phil, from Sunningdale near London, contested six events last year and despite not having raced since last August, is nevertheless in tip-top physical and mental condition. He is also well-honed to the LMP2 class Ligier having clocked up almost 4,000 miles in testing over the past six months.

Despite only starting his motorsport career in 2014, he begins the annual American race on Saturday at 2.40pm (local) with far more experience of the sportscar category than single-seater specialists Alonso and Norris put together. Indeed, the Daytona race marks Phil’s second career 24 hour race while Fernando and Lando will both be experiencing their first while also racing a sportscar for the first time.

Phil’s only previous race in America was a kart event in Las Vegas almost three years ago and had never even visited Daytona Beach, situated less than 100miles northeast of Orlando, until contesting official tests for the high-quality 50-car field earlier this month (5-7 Jan). Phil clocked up 75 laps around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway circuit comprising of the NASCAR tri-oval and an infield road course at the three-day test.

Phil, who flew back to Daytona on 21 Jan, headed to the West Palm Beach circuit - 200miles from Daytona - on 22 Jan to “shakedown” both his and the team’s “sister” Ligier. He continues with practice tomorrow (25 Jan) followed by a 15mins qualifying session to set grid positions in the afternoon (4.45pm).

The 56th running of the Daytona race is scheduled to begin on Saturday at 2.40pm.


Oct 6
Learning I’ve scored my maiden @FIAWEC podium! #22 @UnitedAutosport @Oreca Moved up a place after post race scrutineering so officially P3. Thx @AlbuquerqueFil & @ollyjarvis but want to actually stand on the podium in China. @BRDCSuperStars
Oct 6
@FIAWEC P4 #6hFuji not what we wanted but will take it after electrical issues. 2nd, pressuring leader but engine cut out. Happened to @ollyjarvis & @AlbuquerqueFil too. @UnitedAutosport will work hard to find out what went wrong ready to push in China. Onwards and upward
Oct 6
@FIAWEC Moved up to P2 but almost immediately lost power, dropped to P5 @ollyjarvis takes over, inters gamble doesn’t pay off, back in for slicks, P5. But 2hr 30min remain. Never give up. @UnitedAutosport
Oct 5
Our #22 @Oreca starts #6hFuji P2 tomoz. @AlbuquerqueFil and I did our best and fantastic job by @UnitedAutosport who have worked hard for us to find a good set-up around @fswpress Fastest @Michelin_Sport LMP2. 2nd successive @FIAWEC class front row @gibsontech1 @BRDCSuperStars
Oct 5
@FIAWEC Ambient and track temps much higher, wind direction has changed as has air density so we need to dial #22 into something bit different for quali. Will it work? Let’s wait and see but @AlbuquerqueFil and I will be giving it our all @UnitedAutosport
Oct 5
@FIAWEC Pretty happy with balance of #22 @Oreca on my opening run in FP3. Seems like we have nice, compliant Racecar for #6HFuji tomoz. P5 in session. Quali up later @UnitedAutosport @gibsontech1 @BRDCSuperStars