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.


Dec 12
@FIAWEC P5 in FP2. I lost at least 0.5s with a mistake so our pace looks promising. First time under the lights at @BAH_Int_Circuit and it’s amazing. Like driving in daylight. Busy day tomorrow with FP2 & quali @UnitedAutosport @Oreca @gibsontech1 @BRDCSuperStars
Dec 12
@FIAWEC Happy with FP1. Learned the track pretty quickly and got good feel for it. Tyre deg will be an interesting feature. More learning to do in FP2 which starts in 90mins @UnitedAutosport @Oreca @gibsontech1 @BRDCSuperStars
Dec 12
@FIAWEC Decent start to #8HBahrain @BAH_Int_Circuit - @PaulDiResta puts our #22 @Oreca P1. We’ll take it but not getting carried away. Lots of work still to do by our hard-working @UnitedAutosport crew - bonus is weather is better here than back at UA’s new workshop in Wakefield
Dec 12
Team-mate @PaulDiResta achieved F1 career equalling P4 here in 2013 @BAH_Int_Circuit GP, just missing out on podium in closing stages. After 2 @FIAWEC consecutive podiums we’re focussed on a third but this time on the very top step @UnitedAutosport @Oreca @gibsontech1
Dec 12
@FIAWEC 30mins until FP1. I’ll take over from @PaulDiResta who is first out. Had a good look around @BAH_Int_Circuit yesterday. Awesome facility. Looking forward to driving it & experiencing these lights later @UnitedAutosport @Oreca @gibsontech1 @BRDCSuperStars
Dec 11
First time at @BAH_Int_Circuit so it’s focus on today with track walk with @AlbuquerqueFil & @PaulDiResta then two free practice sessions tomorrow. #8HBAHRAIN @FIAWEC @UnitedAutosport @Oreca @hrx_uk @BRDCSuperStars