Last week’s announcement by United Autosports that their proposed Ligier LMP2 entry into the 2019/20 FIA WEC after a customer request has had a rapid response from Ligier Automotive. The French company has terminated its exclusive distribution agreement in the United Kingdom with United Autosports, taking back direct control of the marketing and distribution of its range of racing and track-focused cars in the UK from August 1 2019.
“Since 2016, United Autosports in its role as Ligier UK has represented the Ligier make in the United Kingdom, handled the distribution and the after-sales service of Ligier racing cars and participated in several events like the Autosport International Show and the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed for Ligier’s 50th anniversary,” explains Jacques Nicolet, Ligier Automotive President.
“We would like to thank Zak Brown and Richard Dean and the whole United Autosports team for this three-year partnership. Our ways are parting concerning the distribution of Ligier products, but as a racing car constructor we will continue to accompany and support United Autosports and their Ligiers as we do for all the other race teams.”
United Autosports recently confirmed that they were early customers for the new for 2020 Ligier JSP 320 LMP3 car and still campaign LMP3 Ligiers in the Michelin Le Mans Cup and ELMS, and a pair of Ligier JS P217s in the ELMS.
United have twice won the ELMS LMP3 class with Ligier (in 2016 and 2017) plus the Asian Le Mans Series in 2018/19 with the Ligier Nissan JSP2, plus race wins in the ELMS in LMP2, and LMP3 wins in the UK LMP3 Cup, amongst a string of on-track successes.
As referred to above United were present just 8 days ago as Ligier UK promoting Ligier’s wares at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
United Autosports Co-owner Richard Dean told DSC this morning: “Of course this is a sad way to end an arrangement that has brought both Ligier and our company commercial success, but I understand Ligier’s position and can only say that our openness and honesty about our decision-making process has been matched by their response both personally with me, and in their dealings with us since that decision was communicated to them.
“Since 2016 we have sold almost 30 Ligiers into the UK marketplace (a mix of LMP2, LMP3, JSP4 and J2.R machines), and on track, those cars have brought our team, and others, real racing success. We have active programmes with Ligier that will continue, and future programmes planned that will also progress.
“I wish Jacques, Pierre and Ligier every success.”