Home / Interview with United Autosports’ Richard Dean

Interview with United Autosports’ Richard Dean

LMC - 04/02/2020

United Autosports is one of the most familiar team names in Endurance Racing with entries at all levels of the disciple with cars racing in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, European Le Mans Series and the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The team was founded in 2009 by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown and Richard Dean and quickly became a force to be reckoned with. In 2016 and 2017 United Autosports lifted the ELMS LMP3 Team title and has won races in both LMP3 and LMP2 at all levels of endurance racing.

Richard Dean is a former British racing driver and co-owner of United Autosports. He is a previous Le Mans 24 Hours race winner, winning the GT2 class in 2006. He is also a multiple race and championship winner in many different formulas, including British GT, and the Oulton Park Gold Cup.

We caught up with Richard Dean to ask him about his teams involvement in the Michelin Le Mans Cup.

 

Q: What is the main attraction of the Michelin Le Mans Cup for United Autosports?

Richard Dean: The MLMC serves as the perfect training ground for our team. It is a place where we are able to integrate senior staff with junior roles such as; mechanics, data guys and engineers. The series structure creates the perfect environment for bringing on the next generation of endurance racing professionals. It is also the obvious place to start for drivers who have ambitions in endurance racing.

 

Q: While United Autosports has enjoyed lots of success in both LMP3 and LMP2 in the European Le Mans Series, winning races and championships, success in the MLMC has been in short supply with just three podiums and one win in the 2017 Road to Le Mans victory for the ELMS entered no2 Ligier that went on to win the LMP3 title.  Is this a source of frustration for the team or do you have a different view?

RD: We are very happy with our experiences in the MLMC on the whole. As I have said, we view the MLMC as a perfect environment for our staff and for our ambitious and sometimes less experienced drivers. In this case it is not all about results, but you are also correct in we crave more success and podiums. Winning the RTLM race has been a highlight for United and we all know why we are here, to win races.

Q: You are well known as an experienced sportscar driver in your own right, winning the GT2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a former British GT champion.  You also keep your hand in racing historics.  Have you been tempted to get behind the wheel of one of the United Autosports LMP3 cars for a MLMC event?

RD: I have tested the Ligier LMP3 car on a number of occasions, although not because I have a race in mind, it has only ever been to do some shakedown work or perhaps bed brakes etc. However, every time I drive an LMP3 car it sparks the interest again…this is why it is better I stay out of the car!

 

Q: The MLMC includes two 55-minute races on the full 14km circuit at Le Mans in June.  Is this a main factor for United Autosports MLMC programme?

RD: The RTLM race in June supporting the 24 Hours is the jewel in the crown for drivers and teams. It is the event we receive the most enquires for and it’s the perfect starting point for those with an eye on competing in the 24 hours sometime in the future.

 

Q: What is special about Le Mans for you?

RD: Everything about Le Mans is unique and this makes it special; the history only adds to the special feeling you get from taking part or even just attending this race. For me there is nothing like it anywhere else in the World of motorsport.

 

Q: Which of the other five tracks on the 2020 Michelin Le Mans Cup schedule are you looking forward to the most and why?

RD: Obviously the RTLM race but who doesn’t love a trip to Spa-Francorchamps!

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