The Dutch driver will return to WEC for the first time in two years to drive United’s #23 Oreca 07-Gibson with Oliver Jarvis and Josh Pierson in the LMP2 class.
He has been called up to replace British driver Tom Blomqvist, who has to prioritize his IMSA SportsCar Championship commitments with Meyer Shank Racing over the two weekends against the WEC in 2023.
The 6 Hours of Portimao falls on the same weekend as IMSA’s Long Beach event, while WEC’s Monza has a scheduling conflict with IMSA’s visit to Canada.
Van der Garde brings a wealth of experience to United, having spent four seasons in the LMP2 division between 2016-21, taking his maiden win at Fuji in 2019 with Racing Team Nederland.
He spent the 2021 season competing in select IMSA events for the Dutch teams, finishing second in both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Sebring before continuing the podium streak at Watkins Glen with a third-place finish.
“I am really looking forward to racing United Autosports, I have known them for a long time, they have always been at the front and we have had great battles in the WEC over the years,” said van der Garde.
“It is also an honor to race with Josh Pierson, we will be teammates in the IMSA championship… and we are going again in WEC Monza and Portimão. Oliver Jarvis, I’ve known this for a long time: We went go-karting when we were teenagers.
“This is the first time we’ve raced together, but he’s a fast guy, he knows what he’s doing. For me, it’s a good opportunity to return to WEC. Last time, we won the 2021 championship. [Pro-Am Class] – Now, I have two races with United, so let’s fight for victories”.
#23 United Autosports USA Oreca 07 – Gibson LMP2: Alexander Lynn, Oliver Jarvis, Joshua Pierson
Photo by: JEP/Motorsport Images
United Autosports took a lone win in 2022 at the opening round at Sebring courtesy of Jarvis, rookie Pierson and Paul di Resta, with the final race as a reserve for Alex Lynn.
Lynn spent the rest of the season racing for United but will move up to the Hypercar division with Cadillac next year, prompting the Anglo-American team to sign former JOTA ace Blomqvist as his replacement.
However, the two clashes with IMSA meant that United would always have required a replacement driver when he was unavailable, a vacancy now filled by van der Garde.
“Giedo has always been a tough competitor to play,” said team boss Richard Dean.
“We have raced against him in LMP2 for quite a few seasons and he always pushes himself and gets the most out of his car. It will be a relief to have Giedo on our side next year, instead of the thorn in our side he has been so far. It adds quality to the already formidable lineup we have for the 2023 WEC season.”