· Team targets top-10 qualifying positions to fully exploit race tire strengths
· British GT race victor Bell aiming to continue winning ways
United Autosports arrives at Silverstone (England) for its “home” FIA GT3 European Championship races aiming to take forward the momentum the Anglo-American team has generated after its maiden race win.
The historic Silverstone venue situated 130-miles from United’s British raceshop in Leeds, stages the third and fourth rounds of the FIA series (June 3-5) with the GT3 squad buoyed by its victory in the British GT Championship last month (May 15).
Matt Bell (GB) and United’s 2010 FIA driver Mike Guasch (USA) steered their Audi R8 LMS in to victory lane making Bell doubly determined for a repeat dose of success at Silverstone – the scene of the team’s FIA race baptism 13 months ago.
Bell partners United Autosports’ Chairman Zak Brown in the #23 Legends of Motorsport Audi R8 LMS with Joe Osborne (GB) and Mark Patterson (USA) in the “sister” #22 Draper Tools R8 LMS looking to challenge for honors around the 3.67-mile “Arena” Grand Prix track. A new $43million pit and paddock complex, unveiled by HRH The Duke of Kent this month (May 17), will be used for the first time over the FIA championship weekend.
Bell, Brown and Patterson each drove the Audi in the corresponding Silverstone races last year while Osborne, who lives less than 20-miles away, netted a fifth place – in a Porsche 911 GT3 R. The quartet is determined to improve on their qualifying positions which they deem is the key to success at Silverstone. The Audi R8 LMS and its Dunlop tires are a strong race combination – its major asset being the longevity of its rubber in the latter stages. United Autosports has tested at Spa (Belgium) and Snetterton since the Algarve races.
2011 FIA GT3 Drivers' Championship (after two races):
11th= Bell/Brown, 2pts
2011 FIA GT3 Teams' Championship:
10th United Autosports
Friday – 1220-1320 Practice; 1730-1830 Practice
Saturday – 0940-1030 Qualifying; 1330-1430 Race 1
Sunday – 1145-1245 Race 2
* All times are “local”
#22 Draper Tools – Audi R8 LMS
Joe Osborne (GB). Age: 22. Born: Bedford, GB. Lives: Olney, Buckinghamshire, GB:
“Silverstone takes on added importance for me as I was born and bred just 20 minutes away so I have got no excuse for not having track knowledge! I’ll be pushing hard and after the Portugal race, I’m only too aware that qualifying will be critical. We must start races from inside the top-10 to be in a position to push for podiums. I desperately want to score a top-three result in these races.”
Mark Patterson (USA). Age: 59. Born: Port Elizabeth, SA. Lives: Bronxville, New York State, USA:
“Joe and I will be trying to make up for our ‘sins’ in Portugal and get on to the championship scoreboard. If we get ‘typical’ English summer weather that’s not a problem – our Audi is fine in the cold and wet! I raced at Silverstone last year and am looking forward to going back to the ‘home’ of British motor racing.”
#23 Legends of Motorsport – Audi R8 LMS
Matt Bell (GB). Age: 21. Born: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, GB. Lives: Barningham, North Yorks, GB:
“I love being at Silverstone. I had my first ever GT win with my brother there last year in a one-off British GT race. Our Audi R8 LMS was quick there in testing earlier this year and so I am definitely looking to achieve better results than in the opening races in Portugal.”
Zak Brown (USA). Age: 39. Born: Los Angeles, California, USA. Lives: Carmel, Indiana, USA:
“We must qualify better at Silverstone – grid positions are critical for a good race result. Our Dunlop tires probably aren’t as quick as Michelin rubber over a single lap but are a better race tire. But a better grid slot would mean we need to take less risks in the race.”
Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports:
“Silverstone is the team’s ‘home’ race in that it’s the only round of the FIA series staged in England so it would be additionally good to achieve good results as we’ll have a large number of sponsor and partner guests throughout the weekend including Draper Tools and West London Audi. We put a lot of effort in at the Algarve and got scant reward. Our drivers, the team and our tire partner must all improve in qualifying. Top-10 grid positions would mean we’d be able to comfortably run in the top-six in the race so that has to be our target.”
Created in 2009, United Autosports is co-owned by American Zak Brown and Briton Richard Dean, both successful entrepreneurs and international race car drivers. The unique Anglo-American racing team fields GT3 class Audi R8 LMS sports cars from its United Kingdom headquarters in Leeds. It also races a fleet of “Legends of Motorsports” historic racing cars from its US facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2011, the team competes in full seasons of FIA GT3 European Championship, Avon Tyres British GT Championship and the “Legends of Motorsports” series. It will additionally contest selected GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series events, the 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium) and Macau GT Cup race (China).
Audi R8 LMS
V10 5.2-liter engine, 4 valves per cylinder, petrol direct injection, 365-412 kW (496-560 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 radial tires. Start weight 1,300kg. 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.
* Bell, Brown, Osborne & Patterson biographies plus team & car profiles are available on the United Autosports website http://www.unitedautosports.com/
A comprehensive library of Editorial Copyright Free photographs can be downloaded at www.flickr.com/unitedautosports/sets
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