James Cottingham is set to make his FIA World Endurance Championship debut this season, after signing with United Autosports to race one of its McLaren 720S GT3 EVOs in the new LMGT3 class.
The 40-year-old joins the FIA WEC after a highly successful 2023 British GT Championship campaign, during which he won three races and finished on the podium a further two times with Mercedes customer 2 Seas Motorsport.
“I’m super excited to be working with McLaren Automotive, an iconic British manufacturer, and United Autosports, one of the highest-achieving teams at Le Mans in recent years,” said Cottingham. “It has been a dream of mine since I was a boy to race at Le Mans and compete in a world championship and after only two and a half years of racing in modern motorsport, I didn’t think I would get this opportunity.
“With everything I’ve done over the last two years including British GT, the Gulf 12 Hours, Spa 24 Hours and Dubai 24 Hours, I’m ready for this new challenge. I really enjoy driving the McLaren and am totally dedicated to the FIA World Endurance Championship this year.”
Richard Dean, United’s CEO, says Cottingham — who is currently in the UAE racing a McLaren with Optimum Motorsport in the Asian Le Mans Series GT class — is a strong addition to the team’s LMGT3 lineup.
“He has captured attention with his achievements in British GT — a familiar series for United Autosports — and now we are looking forward to his WEC debut in the McLaren 720S GT3 Evo. The whole team is working incredibly hard to make our first race in Qatar a success. We are really looking forward to it.”
In the No. 59 McLaren, Cottingham will share the wheel with former F2 driver Gregoire Saucy and a third driver that the team is expected to announce soon.
This news comes before a final pre-season test at the Dubai Autodrome next week for the team, which will share the UAE circuit with Corvette customer team TF Sport.