United Autosports has confirmed that Alex Brundle has joined its ELMS LMP2 line-up for the 2019 season, to race alongside Ryan Cullen, who moves over to the Angol-American team from APR Rebellion and was down as the team’s name driver on yesterday’s full-season entry list. Brundle and Cullen will also race at Le Mans with the team this year, should it get an entry.
Alex Brundle first raced for the team in 2016 when it made its ELMS debut, winning the LMP3 title. He also joined the team for its Sebring 12 Hours debut last year, standing in for Bruno Senna. Alex finished fifth in the Ligier JS P217 with Phil Hanson and Paul Di Resta.
Freshly-crowned Rolex 24 LMP2 champion Ryan Cullen meanwhile, is new to the Anglo American team but has previously tested a Ligier JS P217 prior to joining the team. Last year he raced in the European Le Mans Series for the APR – Rebellion Racing team and has previously raced in the Porsche Supercup and the GP3 Series. Cullen has already totalled four days of testing with United Autosports, most recently attending their Barcelona pre-season test last week alongside Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson.
“It’s a big deal to go back to a team that you know,” Brundle told DSC. “We’ve kept in touch since the 2016 season, and I have a strong relationship with them. There will be a certain element of slipping back into a shoe you know, as in terms of staff I know a lot of them as they retain the same people.
“I don’t go into this season completely blind having raced with the team in its Ligier LMP2 before at Sebring. I’m excited to get back, get going and carry on a relationship that delivered wins in LMP3.
“I haven’t studied the full LMP2 ELMS line-up completely, but I know from a first glance that it’s a stacked field, full of competitive teams and drivers, but we have a competitive package. Circuit venues suit Michelin as opposed to Dunlop, but it’s relatively balanced over the course of the season. I think the team that wins overall will be the team that maximises the bad weekends. ELMS really has gone from a championship full of teams that just couldn’t afford the WEC, to the primary category for LMP2 cars around the world.
“I’m also excited to drive with Ryan, I don’t know him well but I remember him from GP3 and from commentating on his race at Monza last year in ELMS. He’s a strong driver, I look forward to meeting him and working together this year.”
Cullen and Brundle’s teammate for the 2019 season is set to be announced in due course. This duo adds to United’s previous news that Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque will return to the season to race in the team’s other Michelin-shod JS P217.
Team boss Richard Dean added: “Alex is no stranger to the team and it is good to welcome him back for the 2019 season. He is a previous champion of ours so hopefully he can replicate his season in 2016 once again. Ryan has impressed us in the four days testing he has done with us so far so I am hopeful of good things from him throughout the season. I think him and Alex will make a good line up with their third as yet undecided team mate.”