2024 06 17 Dumond 24lm 240615 14277

United Autosports’ LMP2 Win Highlights IMSA Runners at Le Mans

Barnicoat Collects LMP2 Pro-Am Victory as Well

By Tony DiZinno


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The IMSA competitors racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans made their mark once again during a treacherous race that featured significant and intermittent rain and pushed strategic decisions to the limit. The best results came from those in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class, a full-time category in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.


United Autosports scored its second Le Mans LMP2 win (first in 2020), with the team co-owned by Zak Brown and Richard Dean emerging victorious in a 16-car category (split eight cars apiece between LMP2 and LMP2 Pro-Am).


Oliver Jarvis, one of a number of IMSA regulars trading their full-season vehicle for a Le Mans-only seat in the marquee round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season, shared the winning No. 22 ORECA 07 with young American Le Mans rookies Nolan Siegel and Bijoy Garg.


The trio led 43 of the 297 laps, rising from fifth on the grid to win by 18.651 seconds over defending LMP2 Le Mans winners Inter Europol Competition – a team that has a partnership with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports in IMSA.


Jarvis, who turned 40 in January and drives the Pfaff Motorsports McLaren 720S Evo in the GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class of the WeatherTech Championship, matches the combined age of his teammates. The 2022 IMSA DPi class champion and two-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner added his second Le Mans win (2017, LMP2) in his 13th start, bringing the No. 22 car home to the finish.


Siegel, 19, from Palo Alto, California, has two WeatherTech Championship endurance-race wins in LMP2 with the CrowdStrike Racing by APR program in 2023 (Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and Motul Petit Le Mans), which laid the foundation for his LMP2 debut at Le Mans.


Garg, 21, from Stanford, California, has made five WeatherTech Championship starts and has gained significant prototype experience from capturing the 2023 IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge Le Mans Prototype 3 championship. Similar to Siegel, he produced a steady and clean performance throughout the tricky conditions.


“It’s unbelievable. Bijoy and I have known each other since we were little kids; we grew up go-karting together and to win Le Mans together on both of our first goes at it is unbelievable,” said Siegel, who has had a whirlwind month spread racing across IndyCar, Indy NXT and WEC machinery.


Garg, who’s splitting his 2024 between IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races and the European Le Mans Series with United, added: “We’ve had such a challenging year so far in Europe in ELMS. We came here and were fast throughout the week. We knew we had a shot, but we had to keep ourselves grounded and think one hour at a time. That was the most stressful last two hours of my life, but it paid off!”


Barnicoat, AO by TF Grab LMP2 Pro-Am Podiums


2024 06 17 Dumond 24lm 240615 13728

Vasser Sullivan Lexus hasn’t been to Le Mans yet but both of its GTD PRO drivers were in 2024. One of them, Ben Barnicoat, scaled the top of the podium by winning the LMP2 Pro-Am class in the No. 183 AF Corse ORECA 07. He shared the car with Francois Perrodo and Nico Varrone.


AO by TF capped a solid week running “Spike” the LMP2 dragon, where it won a pit stop challenge and captured the LMP2 pole with Louis Deletraz, with a creditable second-place finish in Pro-Am. Deletraz shared the No. 14 ORECA 07 with AO team owner PJ Hyett and Alex Quinn.


Porsche, Cadillacs Show Promise but Miss Podium


The dream of Porsche Penske Motorsport adding a 24 Hours of Le Mans victory to its Rolex 24 At Daytona win in January came up short. Past IMSA GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GTD PRO class champion Laurens Vanthoor nearly scored a podium finish but ended 1.167 seconds off the third-placed Ferrari in the overall pole sitting No. 6 Porsche 963. The No. 5 Porsche 963 finished sixth, while the IMSA-flagged No. 4 Porsche 963 was one of a handful of cars caught out by a particularly wet patch of tarmac entering the Indianapolis corner and was forced to retire.


Cadillac, in its second year with its V-Series.R, also factored in the weekend. The two Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared cars qualified second and third and for a while appeared in win contention on an off-sequence fuel strategy, but the efforts of Alex Palou, Alex Lynn and Vanthoor’s old GTLM champion teammate Earl Bamber delivered an unrepresentative result of seventh place in the No. 2 Cadillac. The IMSA-flagged Ganassi Cadillac, the No. 3, retired with an oil tank puncture while the No. 311 Whelen Cadillac from Action Express Racing was another caught out at Indianapolis before returning to the track after repairs.


Trueman and Akin Winners Unlucky Despite Pace


IMSA Jim Trueman Award and Bob Akin Bronze Cup recipients showed their pace at Le Mans but didn’t get a result to match their efforts.


CrowdStrike Racing by APR sought to defend its Pro-Am win of a year ago but retired having lost its left rear wheel. It ended a valiant effort that saw Trueman Award winner George Kurtz, Colin Braun and Nicky Catsburg work to bring the No. 45 ORECA 07 up the order.


Inception Racing started on pole in LMGT3 with the No. 70 McLaren 720S LMGT3 qualified by Akin winner Brendan Iribe and shared by Ollie Millroy and Frederik Schandorff. The car led early from pole but made a trip to the garage with radiator damage. It made the finish, but in an unlucky 13th.


The full complement of IMSA competitors return to WeatherTech Championship action this weekend at Watkins Glen International for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, the third round of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup season. Race coverage starts on 11 a.m. ET Sunday on USA, Peacock and IMSA Radio.