Thursday, December 22, 2011

Starworks Motorsport Drivers Team Up With United Autosports For Winter GT Races

  • Daytona 24 Hours winner Ryan Dalziel heads team trio for United Autosports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
  • Venezuelan pair joins Dalziel in championship-winning Audi R8 LMS
  • United Autosports announce second #36 car for Middle Eastern endurance races

Scottish Grand Am racer and winner of the prestigious 2010 Rolex 24 Daytona, Ryan Dalziel, spearheads a trio of prominent GT drivers in the United Autosports second car for the two New Year endurance races in the Dunlop 24 Dubai (January 12-14) and the Gulf 12 Hours at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi (January 20).

One of Scotland’s leading professional drivers, 29-year old Dalziel has earned many podium finishes in both the American Le Mans Series and Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. In 2011 he completed a full season in Grand Am and selected races in ALMS, with a victory in the Grand Am Rolex season finalé at Mid Ohio and a second placing in the Sebring 12H being the highlights of the season.

Enzo Potolicchio and Alex Popow both made their series’ débuts in January’s Rolex 24 Daytona with the Starworks Motorsports team, the Venezuelan duo proving to be one of the surprise stories of the 2011 Grand Am series.

Popow and Dalziel teamed up for a third place finish at Watkins Glen in August, following an impressive opening stint by the 36-year-old Venezuelan which saw him battle for a top three placing overall. Then Potolicchio and Dalziel took a maiden victory for Starworks in the final race of the season at Mid-Ohio, when Potolicchio performed double duty between both of the team’s Rileys. As a result of their superb inaugural season, awarded the duo Rolex Series "Rookies of the Year" for 2011.

In addition, both drivers wound up victorious in other championships in which they competed alongside their Rolex Series campaigns. Popow was crowned Seat Leon Supercup Mexico champion, while finishing third in the Latin America Challenge Formula 2000 Championship as well. Potolicchio, meanwhile, earned his second consecutive Ferrari Challenge North America championship.

The three drivers bring their sponsors to the Middle East endurance races, in which they all compete for the first time. The #36 Audi R8 LMS will be in the livery of Duncan Batteries, Taxand and Soloson in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Entering its third season of GT racing, the Leeds-based Anglo-American team - co-owned by American Zak Brown and Briton, Richard Dean - has a busy and exciting 2012 schedule ahead of it as it bids for victory in its first Middle East foray.

Ryan Dalziel (GB). Age 29. Born: Glasgow, Scotland UK. Lives: Orlando, FL, USA:

“I am really excited about racing with United Autosports in these two amazing endurance races. I raced twice in Dubai back in ‘95 and ‘96, for the 24H of Dubai Go-Kart race, winning the event in ’95 and I’ve been hoping for the opportunity to go back ever since. I saw how professional the United Autosports team was when they raced in Grand Am last season and I know Richard Dean from my early years back in the late 90s racing in the UK. I already know we will be contenders for the victory, and Enzo and Alex have worked really hard in the past few months to make this happen and I am hugely grateful to them. We thought it would be great preparation for us to get these two endurance events under our belt before the Rolex 24 at Daytona the week after Abu Dhabi. Driving the Audi R8 LMS will be a first for all of us but Audi is no stranger to endurance success so we expect great things.”

Enzo Potolicchio (VE). Age 43. Lives: Caracas, Venezuela:

"I am really happy to make this deal happen for Alex, Ryan and myself. Alex and I have been working very hard with our sponsors over the past few months to add these amazing races to our already intense 2012 racing commitments. I have been a big admirer of Zak Brown and United Autosports since its creation and am honored to be able to field a car with my two friends and team mates. I have watched Formula 1 on these tracks and they look breath-taking. We are going there to try to get a victory but we want to have fun with our new challenge also."

Alex Popow (VE). Age 36. Lives: Lecheria, Venezuela:

“Racing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is going to be very exciting and it will be a very busy month for the three of us. After Rolex Daytona testing from January on 6-8, we will fly to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the two races, then return to the USA on January 22 for the Rolex 24 at Daytona that coming weekend. We are doing everything possible to push our performances to the next level and I believe this opportunity with United Autosports, driving the Audi R8 LMS, is the perfect warm up for our 2012 season."

Richard Dean (GB). Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports:

“I have known Ryan for a long time and he was a fierce competitor when he was younger racing in Vauxhall Junior on the British Touring car package. He always gave us a hard time but we've always admired his ability and he was always fast and fair. Recently I have been watching his progress out in America where he's made quite a name for himself. Although I don't know much about Alex and Enzo, they have been performing strongly in the Grand Am series where United Autosports saw their ability from close quarters when we competed against them in the 2011 Rolex Daytona 24 hours. I believe Ryan set the fastest unofficial time for a GrandAm car in free practice at the same event, so I am looking forward to actually working on the same team as Ryan this time and not trying to beat him!”

Monday, December 5, 2011

How Do They Do It? United Autosports Drivers

Click here to check out the latest season of How Do They Do It and learn more about United Autosports Drivers.

United Autosports Quartet Announced For Dubai 24 Hour Enduro

  • Young British hotshot and BRDC Rising Star Matt Bell makes Dubai debut
  • Quality four man line-up in race-winning Audi R8 LMS
  • Multi-national drivers in Anglo-American team
  • Experience is key ingredient for United Autosports inaugural Dubai visit
Above: Matt Bell and Mark Patterson raced for the team at the Total 24 Hours of Spa earlier this year
United Autosports has assembled a class quartet of GT racers for its first attempt to win the seventh running of the Dunlop 24H Dubai, which kicks off the new 2012 season on January 12 – 14. Talented young United Autosports regular driver, Matt Bell (GB) will be one of four racing the team's #26 Audi R8 LMS GT3 at the Dubai Autodrome.
The 22-year old BRDC Rising Star will be pitted alongside US-based South African Mark Patterson (USA), Hong Kong's Frank Yu (HK) and newcomer to the United Autosports team, New Zealander Roger Wills (NZ), this trio bringing a wealth of endurance ability and racing experience to the Middle East race.
The Anglo-American team, based in Leeds, has a truly international line-up of drivers for its 2012 season opener and first visit to Dubai for the start the endurance racing year. United Autosports will be pitted against the best competition of more than 80 entries of GTs, touring cars and 24H Specials.
There has been no slowing down over the winter for the team, which is co-owned by American, Zak Brown and Briton, Richard Dean, and December has proved to be as busy as the rest of the year as the team prepares for the full schedule of races planned for next year, starting with the trio of races in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bathurst.
These events will give the young team valuable experience before it begins its third season in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the British GT Championship.
On Thursday, January 12, there will be two free practice sessions followed by qualifying, partly split up into various classes. There will be two hours of night practice on Thursday evening before the race starts on Friday, January 13, at 14.00 (local time) and will end 24 hours later.
As well as Radio Le Mans reporting live on the event for the first time, Motors TV will again be covering this international event.
Provisional Timetable:
Thursday 12 January 2012
11:30 – 12:15 Dunlop 24H Dubai Free Practice 1
13:15 – 14:45 Dunlop 24H Dubai Free Practice 2
15:00 – 16:00 Dunlop 24H Dubai Qualification All Classes
16:15 – 16:45 Dunlop 24H Dubai Qualification Class A1 up to A5, D1, D2, A3T
17:00 – 17:30 Dunlop 24H Dubai Qualification Class A6, SP2-GT3A, SP3-GT4A, 997
18:00 – 20:00 Dunlop 24H Dubai Night Practice
Friday 13 January 2012
10:30 – 11:00 Dunlop 24H Dubai Warm up
12:00 – 13:00 Break including Pit Road Walkabout
13.00 Start grid of the Dunlop 24H Dubai
14:00 hours Start of the Dunlop 24H Dubai
Saturday 14 January 2012
14:00 Finish of the Dunlop 24H Dubai
Above: Frank Yu drove a United Autosports Audi R8 LMS at Zhuhai in 2010's Intercontinental Le Mans Cup race
Matt Bell (GB), Age 22. Born: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. Lives: Barningham, nr Richmond UK.
"I've never raced in Dubai before but from what I've seen on videos it looks like a very good circuit. I'm very excited about racing in the Dubai 24H and although the race only has a short history, you can tell it has gathered huge prestige in recent years by looking at the extremely competitive entry list. It is also a great way to interrupt the winter break with some racing, which will be very beneficial during the European pre-season testing period that follows in February and March. As we were front runners all year in the British GT series, I am confident the Audi R8 LMS will be very competitive in the race, and in Dubai everyone runs the same Dunlop tyres, so I expect to be challenging the top guys."
Mark Patterson (US), Age 59. Born: Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Lives: Bronxville, NY, USA
"I've been fortunate enough to race on a dozen current and previous F1 tracks around the world, including Spa, Shanghai, Montreal, Indianapolis and Silverstone, etc, so racing at a few more simply adds to the palette of experiences as well as being able to enjoy an endurance race on tracks such as these. As there are multiple classes in this race, keeping the car clean and fast are the two primary goals. We have a great line up of drivers with tons of endurance racing experience, so I know we'll all aim to bring the Audi home near the front. Matt is an unbelievably good young up-and-coming British pro racing talent and we shared an Audi at the Spa 24 Hours this year and both were happy with our competitive lap times. United Autosports and I have had a very exciting and rewarding two year relationship that will spill into 2012 as well. They are great team owners and always the neatest most professional outfit on the grid."
Frank Yu (HK), Age: 42. Born: Hong Kong. Lives: Hong Kong
"I competed in the Dubai 24H in 2010 with Richard as my team mate. I like the track layout, but I dislike the dust, which makes the corner's grip level sometimes unpredictable. The atmosphere in Dubai is great and the 80 plus car grid is amazing. The Audi has done a number of endurance races all over the world with proven reliability and good results so I'm quite confident the car will do well. United Autosports is a very professional team, the crew members are great to work with and Richard is a good leader and friend. I can't wait to be there."
Roger Wills (NZ), Age 43. Born: New Zealand. Lives: New Zealand
"As this is my first time racing at Dubai, I'll have to book some time on the simulator to learn the circuit before going out there. This is also my first race in the Audi A8 LMS, having previously competed in an Aston Martin, Ferraris and the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 to date. The Audi seems like a really well-developed car, always runs well and I'm excited about the chance to race it. I've only met Matt Bell previously as I have driven with his brother Rob in the McLaren, but all the guys bring a lot of experience so I'm really looking forward to racing with them.
"I'm a patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust which does amazing work for young people with cancer, and I will run their logos on my suit and on the car to give them some exposure. I did my first endurance race at Spa in 2010, but I'm pleased to be racing with United Autosports this time as they've really impressed me. The cars are always incredibly well-prepared and run, and the whole team exudes professionalism. They also seem to be a team that looks like they're having a lot of fun. Being a hobby for me, not a job, these are all important characteristics for a team. I'm really excited about joining them and hope this will be the start of a longer relationship with the team."
Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports:
"Although I raced myself in Dubai in 2010, it's the first time the team has competed in the Middle East. We're just two years old as a team and we're branching out into yet another continent. It feels quite a privilege to be able to take part in these high-profile races across the world after such a short time.
"This line-up we're taking to Dubai gives us a great combination of youth and experience. Matt Bell is fast, there is no doubt about that, but his 24 hour experience is limited to just Spa in 2011. I have ultimate faith in Matt every time he gets in the car. I shared a car with Frank in the 2010 Dubai 24 hour race and I wouldn't hesitate to sit alongside Frank in any long distance race anywhere in the world. Mark has been with the team for two years and he's the ideal guy in a long distance race because he is quick, dependable and supremely consistent. Mark as a character also brings something unique to the team and the guys love working with him. It's Roger first race with the team but we've raced against him at the Spa 24 for two years; he won his class in 2010 and finished in the McLaren's début in 2011. For a non-professional driver who has spent most of his life concentrating on his business, he's clearly now a very serious racing driver. He's never seems to be out of a car, he comes highly recommended and I'm looking forward to working with him."
- ENDS -
For immediate release:
5th December 2011
For further information please contact:
Linda Keen
Press Officer
United Autosports
T: +44 1424 250840
M: +44 7745 121790
Skype: lindakeen