Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya to make Le Mans 24 Hours debut
Ex-Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya will compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours this year with United Autosports, joining Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer in the no32 Ligier JS P217. Although Montoya is making his debut at the event, he competes in the IMSA Championship for Team Penske, and has raced in NASCAR and IndyCar.
The Colombian has won the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix, the 2013 Daytona 24 Hours and the 2015 Indianapolis 500, and will now be gunning for an LMP2 class win to add to his trophy cabinet.
Phil Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque and a third driver (to be announced) will take the helm of the no22 Ligier JS P217.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to experience Le Mans and I’m looking forward to joining United Autosports after they had such a strong finish at Le Mans last year. I’ve always watched the race so I’m very happy to finally be part of it,” said Montoya. “Hopefully we can have a shot at a win.”
United Autosports team owner Richard Dean cited Montoya’s experience in various forms of racing as the reason for his Le Mans drive.
“I watched Juan Pablo race against us at Daytona this year and was so impressed by him through the traffic, he definitely hasn’t lost any of his speed or determination,” said Dean.
“He’s a great character so I have no doubt that he will fit into the team well at Le Mans. Although it will be his first Le Mans venture, he has a vast amount of racing experience, including wins at the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indy 500, meaning this Le Mans venture could be a chance for him to win the triple crown of motor sport. Either way, I’m looking forward to welcoming Juan Pablo to the team.”