· Bintcliffe & Palmer aim for another top-five finish after multi-year race lay-off
The fourth round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship staged at Brands Hatch (England) on Sunday June 19 sees United Autosports bidding for back-to-back wins.
Matt Bell (GB) and Michael Guasch (USA) earned the team its maiden victory last month when the Anglo-American pairing swept their #23 Molecule Audi R8 LMS to victory at Snetterton (England) which earned them a 24.5-point series lead after three rounds of the 10-race series United Autosports is contesting for the first time.
The John Bintcliffe (GB) and Jay Palmer (GB) #24 Teknavo Audi collected fifth place at Snetterton in only their third race at the wheel of their R8 LMS. Due to business commitments, both have been away from motorsport in recent years, but are quickly adapting to the V10-engined R8 LMS and in races featuring pit-stops for driver changes for the very first time in their careers.
Like the previous event at Snetterton, the Brands race staged on the 2.301-mile “Grand Prix” track, will be of a two-hour duration. The #23 Molecule Audi R8 LMS will be “held” for an additional 20secs “success penalty” during its mandatory driver change pit-stop.
Avon Tyres British GT Championship (after three rounds):
1 Matt Bell & Mike Guasch, 70.5-points
2 Jones/Jones, 46pts
3 Gedie/Gedie, 41pts
9 John Bintcliffe & Jay Palmer, 15pts
Saturday – 0935-1035 Practice; 1255-1355 Practice; 1745-1815 Qualifying
Sunday – 1000-1010 Warm-up; 1550-1750 Race
* All times are UK “local”
Matt Bell (GB). Age: 21. Born: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, T&W. Lives: Barningham, N. Yorks, England:“United Autosports gave Mike and I a stunning racecar in the previous race at Snetterton which allowed us to score our maiden BGT race win. I was delighted to reward everyone in the team with that result but we’re hungry for more of the same success and where better than the next race at Brands and another two-hour race which again should suit our Audi ideally. I’ve only previously been around the Brands GP track in a Ginetta and it’s a great track.”
Michael Guasch (USA). Age: 53. Born: Palo Alto, California. Lives: Walnut Creek, California, USA:“Despite having a pit-stop ‘success’ penalty of 20secs at Brands I believe that if we can qualify well again and hang with the leaders in the opening part of the race, our Audi should come on strong in the latter stages and be in with a good shot of a podium again. I’ve never previously driven on the GP circuit but have spent time on the simulator learning it so that I’m prepared for when I arrive.”
John Bintcliffe (GB). Age: 45. Born: Bridlington, E. Yorks. Lives: Harrogate, N. Yorkshire, England.“The key element for Jay and I in achieving a good result at Brands will be to hit the ground running in that we claim a good qualifying position. Then there is no reason why we cannot be challenging at the front in the race.”
Jay Palmer (GB). Age: 38. Born: Harrogate. Lives: Harrogate & London, England / Barbados:“I’ve never raced on the Brands GP circuit but it looks great. I thoroughly enjoyed the two-hour race at Snetterton and John and I will be aiming for another top-six race result.”
Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports:“We won the last BGT race so we’ll arrive at Brands on a high. But we also know that we need to be on our very best form, drivers and team personnel, to be in with a chance of achieving back-to-back wins. None of our drivers have done many, if any, racing laps on the Brands GP circuit. Matt and Mike are a strong pairing – they raced with us in the FIA GT3 series last year so they have experience of the Audi R8 LMS and this kind of two-driver GT racing. For Jay and John, who have both come back to racing after multi-year lay-offs, they’re having to learn the car, the circuits again and races featuring pit-stops, so for them to achieve fifth at Snetterton last time out was a tremendous performance.”
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, Bintcliffe, Guasch & Palmer biographies plus team & car profiles are available on the United Autosports websitebsite http://www.unitedautosports.com/
A comprehensive library of Editorial Copyright Free photographs can be downloaded at www.flickr.com/unitedautosports/sets
For further information, please contact:
Audi UK Sport Press
T +44 1564 824600
M +44 7801 859502