Monday, July 18, 2011

British GT Championship Leading United Autosports Achieves Best Collective Result In FIA Series

British GT Championship Leading United Autosports Achieves Best Collective Result In FIA Series

• Osborne & Patterson earn Anglo-American team top-10 FIA Series result

• Twice-around-the-clock Spa enduro next stop on hectic European schedule

British GT Championship leading team United Autosports achieved its best FIA GT3 European Championship race result of the season in round eight of the series at Paul Ricard (France) today (July 17).

The #22 Draper Tools Audi R8 LMS of Joe Osborne (GB)/Mark Patterson (USA) achieved ninth place in today’s one-hour race around the 3.63-mile Paul Ricard (High Tech Test Track) circuit at Le Castellet, near Marseille.

Meanwhile the Matt Bell/Zak Brown #23 Legends of Motorsport Audi placed 11th R8 in what marked the team’s fifth race meeting in the last seven weekends which continues with unabated pace at Spa later this month.

The UA transporter now heads direct from Southern France to Audi’s Customer Racing Centre in Heilbronn-Biberach, close to Audi's Neckarsulm plant in Germany, for the two "FIA" R8 LMS sports cars to be prepared in “endurance” specification.

The third “British GT” series leading Audi receives its “prep” at the team’s raceshop in Leeds (England). The cars and 50-plus team members, some of whom will not have been home to the UK for over a month, arrive at Spa on Monday week.

Upcoming . . .

Total 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium) on July 30-31, the penultimate two races of the FIA Series (Slovakia Ring) on August 20-21 and rounds seven and eight of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship staged at Rockingham (England) on September 3-4.

Race 1 (Saturday, duration 60mins)

Qualifying: 19th #23 Brown, 2m 10.998s; 20th #22 Patterson, 2m 11.701s. Weather: Dry, sunny.

Race Result: 14th (#22) 46.271s; Retired (#23). Weather: Dry, sunny, hot.

Brown and Patterson lined-up in 19th and 20th positions on the 28-car grid on Saturday afternoon, Zak having shaved off a full second on his final lap in the 20-minute qualifying session early that morning.

Having made a good start, Zak spun to the tail of the field between Turns 1 & 2 but then retired 12mins in to the race when the #23 Audi hit the back of a Ford GT40 after it suddenly slowed mid-corner – the impact causing power steering and radiator damage to the Audi.

Patterson completed the opening lap 16th and set his personal fastest on lap 10, a consistent run earning the American 14th when he made his compulsory pit-stop after 27mins – Osborne resuming 15th.

Osborne set his personal best with 20mins to run with Joe taking the checker placed 14th to equal the #22 Audi’s best result of the season.

Race 2 (Sunday, duration 60mins) Qualifying: 15th #23 Bell, 2m 8.273s; 23rd #22 Osborne, 2m 9.345s. Weather: Dry, overcast.

Race Result: 9th (#22) +61.355s P1; 11th (#23) +82.181. Weather: Dry, warm, overcast.

Bell, courtesy of a lap time posted early in Saturday morning’s second qualifying session, and Osborne, started Sunday’s race from the eighth and 12th rows of the grid – the clear blue sky and hot conditions from the previous day replaced by warm, grey and overcast weather.

A fraught, frenetic opening lap saw Bell shuffled back to 20th – one place behind the "sister" Audi of Osborne. The UA "train" was setting times comparable to the leaders 20mins in to the race moving them 13th and 14th. Osborne and Bell pitted from 11th and 12th on 30mins after fine drives from both the British youngsters with Patterson and Brown placed 12th and 13th at then end of the pit-stop cycle. Patterson was up to ninth and dicing for seventh place with 21mins remaining with Brown furiously scrapping over 12th. Mark and Zak were up to eighth and 13th with 13mins to run, the American duo ultimately claiming hard-earned ninth and 11th positions respectively.

#22 Draper Tools – Audi R8 LMS Joe Osborne (GB). Age: 22. Born: Bedford, GB. Lives: Olney, Buckinghamshire, GB: "The Audi was a handful in Saturday’s race which was a little frustrating but in Race Two everything worked out positively for Mark and I. The initial start on Sunday wasn’t great as the lights went to green but ultimately it worked out in my favor with cars getting in to each other at the first couple of corners. I pushed hard, every lap, which paid off with me picking up places. Having started in 23rd place I handed over to Mark in 12th and that was very pleasing. Mark did an awesome job."

Mark Patterson (USA). Age: 59. Born: Port Elizabeth, SA. Lives: Bronxville, New York State, USA: "I could be accused of being too tentative at the start of races but I made an aggressive start to Race One which allowed me to immediately make up positions. I settled in to a good rhythm and as my stint went on, I was setting some real good times – especially compared to when I first came here 12 months ago. I was very happy with 14th place on Saturday. Joe did a great job from a difficult starting position in Race Two and we had a perfect pit-stop. I was up to eighth at one stage but had some fast cars behind me which caused me to get a little too over zealous. I was given some calming words from the guys in the pits and that helped me calm down. I’m delighted to score our first points of the season."

#23 Legends of Motorsport – Audi R8 LMS Matt Bell (GB). Age: 21. Born: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, GB. Lives: Barningham, North Yorks, GB: "Zak's unfortunate accident on Saturday meant I went into today’s race with just one race stint under my belt from the opening race here in last year’s corresponding Ricard meeting and it wasn’t a particularly great one. I struggled with front end grip throughout my stint. Especially at the start which was crazy from the green light. I never had any confidence in slow to mid-speed corners making it a difficult experience. Nevertheless we almost claimed a top-10 finish."

Zak Brown (USA). Age: 39. Born: Los Angeles, California, USA. Lives: Carmel, Indiana, USA: "Having made up places at the start of Race One, I then spun going in to Turn 2 – completely my own fault. I was then following a Ford GT closely which then missed a shift mid-corner. I was right behind him with nowhere to go, hit the rear of the Ford which damaged the power steering amongst other things. My out lap having taken over from Matt in Race Two was poor. I’d exited the pits on the tail of Mark but then two cars came out of the pits and slipped in between us which messed up my rhythm. I quickly caught up another Audi which made it difficult for me to overtake. With the Spa race upcoming I didn’t want to do anything stupid in terms of car damage so wasn’t overly aggressive. I’m pleased with our team’s overall result today."

Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports: "Friday began with what felt like we were in a ‘Demolition Derby’ but it’s ended today with two cars, with just a couple of scuff marks on the bodywork, having achieved our best combined race result of the season in the series. Joe and Mark did a great job to come from where they did on the grid and run consistently in the top-10. They both drove exceptionally well. Matt was unfortunately caught up in the carnage at the first couple of corners and lost a lot of time through no fault of his while Zak then lost out on a top-10 finish when another Audi conducted a master class of defensive driving making life difficult for our car and frustrating Zak. The team has produced a decent performance and now we look forward to Spa."


United Autosports 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. Minimum start weight 1,295kg. 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.


Date of issue: Sunday July 17, 2011 * Bell, Brown, Osborne & Patterson biographies plus team & car profiles are available on the United Autosports website * A comprehensive library of Editorial Copyright Free photographs can be downloaded at

For further information, please contact:
Martyn Pass
Audi UK Sport Press
T +44 1564 824600
M +44 7801 859502
Skype martyn.pass

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