Manuel Maldonado, the younger cousin of Pastor, is to drive in both the Asian and European Le Mans series in 2021.
It has been announced that the 21-year-old will drive in endurance racing for the first time in his career, doing so for United Autosports.
First up, he will in the LMP3 class in the Asian Le Mans series, before stepping up to the LMP2 cars for the European edition.
“I am extremely proud to be joining United Autosports for the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series and the European Le Mans Series,” he said as per Autosport.
“It is now time for me to start a very exciting new chapter in my career and to be doing so with a top tier team like United couldn’t be better. The motivation is high and I can only wish to be adding more success to their tally.
“Racing in the Asian Le Mans Series is crucial to starting my endurance preparation as there is so much to learn in this new world of prototype endurance racing for me. I think that this is a great opportunity to get ready for the European season.
“The ELMS will be exciting with a very competitive field and an amazing car, which the LMP2 is, but I believe we have the right line up and package to aim for high results straight away. I can’t wait to get the season started.”
— Manuel Maldonado (@Manu33Maldonado) January 8, 2021
Maldonado has no prior experience in endurance racing or in sportscars, as his career to date has been spent in single-seater, open cockpit cars.
Despite this, team boss Richard Dean is confident that the Venezuelan will adapt quickly and can help them fight for race wins and titles.
“I’m looking forward to welcoming Manuel to the team for the 2021 season, racing in both the Asian and the European series,” he said.
“Although this is his first time racing in prototypes, I’m sure he will settle into the team well and quickly get up to speed with both the LMP3 and LMP2 cars.
“I was very impressed when I first met Manuel and I felt he would fit into the team very well. Our aim is to be once again fighting for wins and championships and Manuel will be a crucial part of that.”