Friday, March 4, 2011

World-renowned Ex-F1 Engineer Joins United Autosports’ GT3 Program

  • Ultra-Experienced Trevor Foster Who Engineered F1 World Champions Schumacher & Hill To Success commits to British-based team’s future
  • United Fronts Up For 2011 Avon Tyres British GT Championship Media Days
  • Blundell/Valiante Ford-Riley Starts “Grand Prix of Miami” from Fourth Row
  • Success Ballast Out, Compensation Times in for FIA GT3

Ultra-experienced Trevor Foster (GB) has joined United Autosports as Race Engineer & Technical Director. Foster's illustrious career spans over 40 years, running teams in Formulae Ford 1600, 2000 and Three before working in Formula One with Tyrrell, Team Lotus, Jordan and BAR.

Foster has worked with the likes of Formula One World Champions Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill plus Jean Alesi, Martin Brundle and Johnny Herbert. Trevor, who was at Zytek Engineering since 2003, will engineer the Zak Brown/Matt Bell Audi R8 LMS in the FIA GT3 European Championship.

Trevor Foster (GB). Age: 59. Born: Leicester, England. Lives: Loughborough, Leics, England: 
“I am delighted to be joining Richard [Dean] and Zak [Brown] at United Autosports. The results the team achieved in its first year during 2010 were truly exceptional. They both have very clear goals regarding the future and I am very excited to be part of those plans. United Autosports already has a strong team of people and I aim to integrate my experience with them to enable the success story to continue.”

Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports:
“Securing the services of Trevor Foster at United Autosports is fantastic news. His CV makes a huge statement for the team and is a genuine effort by Zak and myself to add top class experience to our staff. I had the pleasure of working with Trevor, sitting on the Board with him at Zytek. The opportunity to secure the services of somebody of this stature doesn’t come around often. Timing is everything and ours was perfect on this occasion!”

John Bintcliffe (left) and Jay Palmer at Silverstone today (March 4).

United Fronts Up For 2011 Avon Tyres British GT Championship Media Days
British GT Championship newcomers John Bintcliffe (GB) and Jay Palmer (GB) had their first spell behind the wheel of their Audi R8 LMS today (Mar 4) when the Yorkshire duo tested on the “National” circuit at Silverstone (GB).

Bintcliffe and Palmer return to the Northamptonshire venue next week (March 8-9) along with team-mates of the “sister” United Autosports Audi Matt Bell (GB) and Michael Guasch (USA) for the series’ Media Days.

Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports:
“Despite a weather forecast suggesting snow, it turned out to be a bright, sunny if cold day in which we enjoyed a very successful test. It was a ‘general’ test day so traffic was not great but John and Jay completed around 80 trouble-free laps between them and as importantly, thoroughly enjoyed their first track experience of our Audi R8 LMS. Both of them loved the car, took to it straightaway and cannot wait until their runs next week.”

Blundell/Valiante Ford-Riley Starts “Grand Prix of Miami” from Fourth Row
The United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley of Mark Blundell (GB) and Michael Valiante (CAN) start tomorrow’s (March 5) “Grand Prix of Miami” from the fourth row of the 30-car grid.

Blundell set a personal fastest time of 1min 15.117secs, an average speed of 110.228mph on his third “flying” lap, in today’s (March 4) 15mins qualifying session around the 2.3-mile, 11-turn Homestead-Miami combined speedway/road course. This marked Mark’s first-ever GRAND-AM qualifying run and his first since the 2002 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Mark, along with United Autosports’ Chairman & Co-Owner Zak Brown (USA), Martin Brundle (GB) and Mark Patterson (USA), finished an excellent fourth in the Rolex 24 At Daytona (January 29-30).  The second round of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16  is scheduled to begin at 12noon (Eastern) and is screened “live” on SPEED TV.

#23 Johnnie Walker / UBS / Legends of Motorsports / Just Marketing International / GAC Logistics / Thunderhead / FXI – Riley-Ford

Mark Blundell (GB). Age: 44. Born: Barnet, England. Lives: Royston, England:
“I’m a little disappointed, especially for the team, with only P8. It was the first opportunity we’d had to run new tires and it just didn’t quite come together – perhaps I got a little too greedy and asked too much as I made a mistake on both ‘flying’ laps and paid the price. That said, with a little bit more work in the final practice session, we should have a strong racecar for tomorrow’s race.”

Success Ballast Out, Compensation Times in for FIA GT3
Success Ballast, which has been a feature of the FIA GT3 European Championship since 2009, has been replaced with Compensation Times for the 2011 season. Instead of the top three cars and drivers being awarded +20kg, +15kg and +10kg in each race, they will receive a time of +15 seconds for 1st place, +10 seconds for second place and +5 seconds for 3rd, which will be added to the minimum pit stop duration set for the following race in the Championship.

The 2011 Avon Tyres British GT Championship has also abandoned the success-ballast system with a time penalty formula. Thus the front-running cars in Oulton Park’s first round on Easter Monday (Apr 25) will find themselves forced to spend longer in the pits during the second-race driver change. Championship promoter SRO Motorsports Group has made a minor alteration to the proposed 2011 Avon Tyres British GT Calendar, introducing a two-hour endurance race into the June Brands Hatch round and revising the format of the season-opener at Oulton Park to feature two one-hour races.

Audi R8 LMS
V10 5.2-liter engine, 4 valves per cylinder, petrol direct injection, 523 PS, emission control by two racing catalytic converters, rear-wheel-drive, traction control (ASR), sequential pneumatic activated 6-speed sport gearbox with shift-paddles, Audi Space Frame (ASF) made of aluminum with bolted steel roll-cage, carbon-fiber composite/aluminum bodywork, Dunlop (for FIA) and Avon (for BGT) radial tires. Start weight TBA. Limitation at 8500rpm for every gear. Developed by Audi Sport with cooperation from quattro GmbH. Won seven championships across Europe in 2009-2010 plus Spa 24 Hours class victory in début 2009 season and Nürburgring 24 Hours class victories in 2009-2010 and scoring a total 64 victories.

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