di Resta: ‘We had to fight our way through’ to Sebring LMP2 victory

Paul di Resta of the #23 United Autosports recalls their push to an LMP2 class win at the Season 10 WEC opener, the 1000 Miles of Sebring.

Paul di Resta, filling in for Alex Lynn who had commitments at the IMSA 12 Hours of Sebring, captured his first win since the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2020.

The #23 Oreca 07 already claimed victories in the European Le Mans Series, and landed its first WEC win at Sebring.

The Scotsman was joined by Oliver Jarvis and WEC rookie Josh Pierson as United Autosports begun its two-car Season 10 campaign.

He said after the race: “We were on the backfoot yesterday with the red flag in qualifying, so we had to fight our way through.

“Track position is a little bit hard this year.

“It was a 110% push, and it was a bit like a sprint to be honest but once we managed to away to the front, the red flags let people gain a lot of time on us.

“So, from there it was about managing the gap and do what we could.”

He qualified the car third in LMP2 with a time of 1m49.510s, and situated himself behind the #22.

During the 1000 Miles of Sebring, three red flags were deployed throughout due to Jose Maria Lopez’ crash, and the imminent arrival of storms in the area.

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Other LMP2 competitors’ fuel and tyre strategies were interrupted by the red flag periods, including the #22 who finished P8 in-class at the checkered flag.

At 16-years-and-32-days, the youngest WEC debutant – Pierson – also became the youngest class winner last Friday.

di Resta continued: “I have to say Josh [Pierson] did an excellent job today and he did a triple stint on a set of tyres (the only driver to do so), which put us in that position where we knew we were going to be aggressive at the end, and that was kind of key.

“We had to also go out of sync to the sister car to save a lot of fuel just because of the pitstop scenario.

“All these things are all tried and tested but we managed to come out of it, and I think we definitely deserved the win based on where we were (on the grid), and it just lifts the team going into the year ahead.”

Alex Lynn is set to return to the #23 line-up at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, where the team aims to secure another win ahead of Le Mans.