Thursday, March 25, 2010

United Autosports Continues Positive Test Programme At Silverstone

·       Both Audi R8 LMS sportscars in top-five at British GT Championship Test Day

United Autosports has successfully clocked up more valuable mileage in a two-day test (23-24 March) at Silverstone (England) which saw Mark Patterson experiencing the #22 Molecule/Cerutti Audi R8 LMS for the first time.

Having completed 1,200km in a trouble-free maiden test with its brace of 2010-specification R8 LMS sportscars at the Autodrómo Internacional do Algarve circuit near Portimão in Portugal (8-9 Mar), Patterson joined co-driver Michael Guasch while Zak Brown, the Chairman and Co-Owner of United Autosports, was out in the Remington sponsored #23 Audi at Silverstone.

The American owned team spent just five full days at its Yorkshire base in England after returning from Portugal – the first time the Audi sportscars had been in United Autosport's impressive workshop facility - before heading for the famous British motor racing venue.

A further combined 1,100km was put on the 'odometer over two days - despite changeable weather conditions – the final day being the Avon Tyres British GT Championship's Media Day (24 March) – a series in which United Autosports makes its race début with its 5.2-litre, V10-engined Audi R8 LMS GT3 class sportscars.

Brown set the second fastest time on Wednesday (1m 53.898s) while Tiff Needell, Matt Bell plus Kurt Mollekens, the latter conducting a "balance of performance test", also had short spells in the #23 Audi. The #22 Molecule/Cerutti Audi clocked the fifth quickest time (1:55.358) around the 5.14-km (3.194-mile) "Bridge Grand Prix" circuit with both Patterson and Guasch circulating within a tenth of each other.

United Autosports makes its race début in the opening two races of the British GT Championship at Oulton Park (Cheshire, England) on 5 April – the first time an Audi R8 LMS has ever competed in this series. Prior to contesting Rounds 1 & 2 of the FIA GT3 European Championship at Silverstone on 2 May, the team heads for Dijon (France) for the series' "Balance of Performance" Official Test over 6-7 with the team remaining for an additional day's test (8 April).

#22 Molecule/Cerutti Audi R8 LMS
Michael Guasch (USA). Lives: Walnut Creek, California. Age: 52

"I didn't get any running in the dry on Tuesday which was frustrating but managed a good run on Wednesday and now feel much happier. We're fine-tuning the Audi in terms of aero and camber settings and it's gradually coming to us. It's about gaining confidence in the car and finding its limits – on tracks I've never previously seen in my life let alone raced on!"

Mark Patterson (USA). Lives Bronxville, New York State. Age: 58
"Before Tuesday I'd never seen Silverstone and the closest I'd got to my racecar was a photo of its interior so the last couple of days have been interesting. Wow, what a car this Audi R8 LMS is! They tell me it's a sportscar but to me it's a pure racecar – unbelievable. The powerful V10 engine is so smooth, the paddle-shift gearbox an absolute joy while the ABS anti-lock brakes very reassuring – all very different from the Daytona Prototype I've driven for the last five years. "

#23 Remington Audi R8 LMS
Zak Brown (USA). Lives: Carmel, Indiana. Age: 38

"We had some dodgy weather [rain] on Tuesday but Wednesday's test was much better. The car was moving around on 'old rubber' but when we bolted on some fresh tyres I was able to set a decent, competitive time despite my lack of knowledge of Silverstone. I feel very comfortable in the Audi but there is still a lot to explore with the R8 LMS and to figure out how to go faster. But after only two tests, I'm very happy with the way the team is bonding and learning about the Audi."

Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports
"We've had only a small period of time to pull together the various elements of United Autosports. The engineers, mechanics and admin guys have been together for a while but throw in the element of a new car, working with a new manufacturer and of course 'new' drivers all coming over from the States. We've really not had any time back at our workshops in Birstall near Leeds but judging by our performance over the past two days, we all seem to be gelling together which bodes very well for the season ahead."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Patterson Completes Revised United Autosports Line-Up

Newly-formed United Autosports has revised the driver line-up for its FIA GT3 European Championship campaign with its brace of 2010-specification Audi R8 LMS sportscars.

Mark Patterson (Bronxville, NY) will co-drive with fellow American Michael Guasch (Walnut Creek, CA), Mark replacing Henri Richard who is now unable to contest the 12-race, six-venue European-based series* due to increased business commitments. Zak Brown (Carmel, IN), the Chairman and Co-Owner of United Autosports, will race alongside Argentinean Pablo Pérez Companc.

The American-owned United Autosports team, which will have Remington as its primary sponsor, collected its two Audi R8 LMS sportscars from Audi Sport in Germany this week (3 Mar) and headed directly to Portugal for a two-day test (8-9 Mar) at the Autodrómo Internacional do Algarve circuit near Portimão.

The 525-hp Audi R8 LMS made a convincing showing in its first racing season in 2009. The R8 LMS was developed for “customer sport” by Audi Sport in close cooperation with quattro GmbH and clinched 23 victories and three championships including the 2009 FIA GT3 European title.

“I’m very excited to be driving for this incredible new US team,” stated Mark who has signed a two-year deal with United Autosports. “The FIA GT3 European series features competitive, spectacular looking cars with Audi heading the field.

“My knowledge of US tracks is deep but in Europe, except for Spa, it’s quite shallow. So getting up to speed on these challenging tracks will be exciting. I’ve been peddling a 2,250 lb, 500 hp, sequential shift Daytona Prototype around for the past five years so I can currently only imagine the luxury of a meticulously built and beautifully balanced Audi R8 LMS with paddle shifters!”

Zak Brown added: “Mark is a strong addition to United Autosports. With his impressive background in sportscar racing, he will make great contributions to our 2010 campaign. I’m thrilled to have him as a team-mate and I look forward to racing with him.”

“Being an American and extremely accomplished in both a race car and in business, Mark [Patterson] is the perfect profile for United Autosports and our FIA GT3 Championship programme,” confirmed Richard Dean, Managing Director and Co-Owner of United Autosports.

“To achieve at this level in both arenas is an obvious sign of a competitive nature. Mark is a proven winner in Grand Am and has now set Europe and the FIA series as his next personal challenge.

“Henri [Richard] had to pull out due to work commitments, which was a great shame, but we’ve come out of this very well with the signing of Mark. There is huge interest around our new team and the Audi R8 LMS which meant we had a long list of candidates to choose from.”

United Autosports, which operates out of Yorkshire, England, has a further test at Silverstone (23-24 Mar) before making its race début in the opening round of the British GT Championship at Oulton Park (5 Apr).

A further test scheduled for Dijon (7-8 Apr) will precede the team’s FIA GT3 European Championship début in the opening rounds at Silverstone (2 May) – a series primarily for private teams and non-professional drivers. United Autosports also plans to contest the Spa 24 Hours (31 Jul-1 Aug) in Belgium.

In 2010, United Autosports features a two-car Audi R8 LMS team in the FIA GT3 European Championship and a single-car in the UK-based Ginetta G50 Cup Series. Additionally, it will prepare and field a fleet of historic racecars for Historic Motorsports Productions "Legends of Motorsports" events in North America.

2010 FIA GT3 European Championship
02 May  Silverstone, England
23 May  Brno, Czech Republic
20 Jun    Oschersleben, Germany
04 Jul     Paul Ricard, France
19 Sep   Algarve, Portugal
31 Oct   Enna Pergusa, Italy*
* Provisional

Monday, March 1, 2010

Star Mazda Master Series Champion Mike Guasch Switches From Open Wheel


Mike Guasch, the racer from Walnut Creek, California who won the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear 'Master Series' title will switch from open-wheel racing to sports cars in 2010 as co-driver of the #22 United Autosports / MOLECULE Labs / MG4 Manufacturing Audi R8 LMS car competing in the FIA GT3 European Championship.  His co-driver on the two-car United Autosport team will be Mark Patterson, another past Star Mazda Master Series competitor who has been running for the last 5 years in the Grand Am Rolex series driving a Daytona Prototype.  The duo will share the car in 12 1-hour events held in six countries, including Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Portugal and Italy during a season that stretches from May 2 to October 31.
 “To race in the FIA GT-3 series will be a great adventure and I frankly can’t wait,” said Guasch. “The caliber of teams and drivers is absolutely top-shelf, and there is a lot of interest from the media because Henri and I make up an all-American team.  I've lived in Europe in the past, so I know the culture and the food and I expect to spend a lot of time there testing and working to be competitive in the series."
Guasch, 52, a semi-retired businessman and entrepreneur, has a long history of competition in motocross and Jet Ski racing, but his 2006-2009 program as a driver in the intensely competitive Star Mazda Championship -- crowned by his first-ever national racing title -- marks his first foray into auto racing.  He clinched his championship with six in-class victories driving the #91 JDC Motorsports / Molecule Labs / MG4 Manufacturing Mazda.  The Master Series is a race-within-a-race for drivers 45 and older that pits businessmen/racers against the hottest young drivers in the world in high-tech, Indy-style cars that battle wheel-to-wheel at speeds up to 160 mph.
"The Star Mazda Championship is a tremendous training ground for drivers of any age, and I feel well-prepared to take on this new challenge," says Guasch.  "I'll get to drive my new GT car for the first time later this week, but I recently did a three-hour endurance race in a Porsche to get a feel for racing a sports car.  It’s a somewhat claustrophobic experience at first, with all that metal around you, and while the car is more powerful and faster in a straight line than my Star Mazda, it reacts much more slowly in the corners.  But I got the hang of it pretty quickly and turned some respectable laps, so with even more time testing and racing my new R8 LMS, I expect to be very competitive; it's just a matter of dedication, that's what makes anyone good at what they do."
Guasch's first experience behind the wheel of the R8 LMS comes next week in Algarve, Portugal.  From there, the United Autosports team heads for a test at Silverstone, England and then for a 'balance of power' test at Dijon, France during which the GT3 series officials will work to make sure the various cars competing are as equal as possible in performance.  The team will 'warm up' with a race in the British GT championship and begin the GT3 series races at Silverstone on May 2.
"This program appeals to both the driver and the businessman in me because the United Autosports team is very specially presented with a full-blown hospitality suite and brand new race cars," says Guasch.  "The team is owned by Zak Brown of Just Marketing Inc., the company that brought IZOD and the Indy Racing League together.  He's also co-driving the second car and his company is the marketing organization for the GT3 series, so there's a lot of commercial interest in this program.  We're in negotiation with some very large companies and it will be an interesting experience, for the first time in my life, to have supplemental income from sponsorship on my race car."  For more info on Mike’s racing, go to
About the FIA GT3 European Championship
This Championship was launched in December 2005 and has very quickly grown to be a great success, with 44 cars entered in the first season in 2006, and 50 in 2007. The GT3 cars have also moved into a number of national Championships, in many as the main category. GT3 cars remain close to their road-car origins, making them less expensive to build and to run. The Championship is based on an innovative concept in the form of a 'Cup of Cups' with limited numbers of each make allowed to take part. As well as an overall team and drivers classifications, there are separate classifications for each make, with the winner of each Cup being invited to the podium to receive a Manufacturer's award, while the FIA GT3 European Championship trophies will be given to the overall race winners. Entry is reserved for non-professional drivers.  For further information, go to
About United Autosports
United Autosports is a U.S.-owned professional auto racing team and motorsports development business based in Yorkshire, England. In 2010, United Autosports will feature a two-car Audi R8 LMS team in the FIA European GT3 series. It will also prepare and field vintage race cars for Historic Motorsports Productions events in North America as well as prepare a single-car team in Ginetta Cup competition.  For further information, go to
Mike Guasch is the creator of Molecule Labs, a company with roots in both specialty chemical manufacturing and motor sports. His expertise developing innovative protective chemicals led to the sale of one of his national brands to a Fortune 500 company in 2005. But instead of retiring, he decided to devote more time to racing. With his increased time on the racetrack, Guasch realized that his Nomex® racing suits required special care that dry cleaning and ordinary laundry products could not provide. So he returned to the lab to develop a new line of protective chemicals and care products specifically formulated for Nomex® and other technical fabrics. After two years of development and testing, in the lab and on the track, Guasch and his new company have created the four-step Molecule™ Technical Fabric Care System. Additional information on Molecule Labs can be obtained from the corporate website @
About Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear
For 2010, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will feature an 11-weekend, 13-race schedule, most on major race weekends with American Le Mans and the Indy Racing League. Rising stars from around the world will compete for prizes valued at $1.5 million and benefit from two driver development programs, including the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder and the Indy Racing League's 'Road to Indy' program.  Series alumni include Indy Car stars Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Raphael Matos, rising NASCAR drivers Michael McDowell, Scott Speed and Colin Braun and prototype racers Dane Cameron and Guy Cosmo.  Drivers 16 and older are welcome to compete and the Star Mazda Championship also features Expert (30 to 44) and Master (45 and older) classes for more mature racers. The Star Mazda Championship features standing starts, wheel-to-wheel racing at 150 mph and budgets a fraction of other top open-wheel ladder series. For more information on the Star Mazda Championship please visit