Wednesday, 15th Nov 2017
LMP3 Cup Teams' Champion race to European success
The busiest team racing in this season’s Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup Championship must surely be Teams’ Champion United Autosports, who also competed in the European Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup in 2017.
Finishing vice-champions in the LMP3 Cup were Tony Wells and Matt Bell, who competed in the Le Mans Cup throughout the season. Bell drove alongside Jim McGuire all year, with the pair finishing the championship in sixth place, best of the United cars, ending the season with a deserved podium finish.
In the European Le Mans Series United not only entered the LMP3 category, but also LMP2 for the first time as well. Racing in LMP3 was Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup Championship race-winner Christian England, who helped team-mates Wayne Boyd and Mark Patterson to third in the championship standings, taking a well-earned victory in the final race at Portimao.
It was a season of success for United Autosports, as it took the LMP3 category for the second year in a row, this time winning the title with John Falb and Sean Rayhall, and finished second in LMP2 on its debut, as well as earning the Teams’ Championship in the LMP3 Cup.
England had to battle mid-season disappointment with two DNF’s and some bad luck, before the end-of-season success. “We’ve had the pace all year to win races but for various reasons it hasn’t happened until now,” he said. “So it’s especially nice to get on the top step of the podium.”
The success of the West Yorkshire-based outfit across prototype racing categories will certainly be a boost to anyone thinking of starting on the ladder to Le Mans, with a clearly defined path from the one-hour events in the Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup Championship, to the two-hour races in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, before the challenge of four-hour European Le Mans Series enduros.
With Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup Championship champions receiving a funded entry into the Michelin Le Mans Cup, worth €45,000, and a guaranteed entry into the Road to Le Mans race in front of 250,000+ fans before the 24 Hour classic, the path has never been clearer.