Brno is a totally new venue for all four drivers Maiden FIA GT3 race for Audi R8 LMS at Brno United Autosports heads for the latest rounds of the FIA GT3 European Championship at the 3.6-mile Brno Masaryk circuit in the Czech Republic staged...
Brno is a totally new venue for all four drivers
Maiden FIA GT3 race for Audi R8 LMS at Brno
United Autosports heads for the latest rounds of the FIA GT3 European Championship at the 3.6-mile Brno Masaryk circuit in the Czech Republic staged over May 22-23.
Having scored top-20 placings with both its Audi R8 LMS sports cars in the opening two races at Silverstone (England) earlier this month (May 1-2), the American-owned team now aims to break in to the top-10 especially as three rival manufacturers have been given weight ballast in line with the FIA's "Balance of Power".
Brno was not on the FIA GT3 European Championship calendar last year which saw the V10-engined Audi R8 LMS compete for the first time and ultimately win the championship.
#22 Molecule / Cerutti -- Audi R8 LMS
Michael Guasch (USA). Lives: Walnut Creek, California, USA:
"I'll be shooting for a better qualifying position because I firmly believe Mark and I are top-10 contenders. This will be my first time travelling to Eastern Europe. I'm practicing the track on a simulator. I was not surprised at the competition at Silverstone -- I expected it to be very difficult. The 'playing field' will hopefully be more level at Brno with the latest BoP adjustments making things more equalized and allowing us to be more competitive."
Mark Patterson (USA). Lives: Bronxville, New York State, USA:
"I've never been to Brno but my co-driver, Mike Guasch, runs all these tracks on a simulator and we swap our prep notes. Silverstone was interesting. I feel the Audi R8 LMS was a little too handicapped in terms of weight ballast and performance compared to the other sports cars we're racing against but I understand that the Corvette, Lamborghini and Porsche cars have all been given weight for Brno so we'll see whether it's more 'balanced'. But whatever the scenario, we'll be out to do our best."
#23 Remington -- Audi R8 LMS
Zak Brown (USA). Lives: Carmel, Indiana, USA:
"None of us have raced at Brno but we're all very much looking forward to it -- I've been told it's a great, exciting and challenging track. The FIA GT3 grid certainly impressed me at Silverstone and also realized that we are a brand new team and that we must keep that in mind and not set unrealistic expectations too early into our first season. Nevertheless we'll be striving for top-10 finishes."
Matthew Bell (GB). Lives: Barningham nr Richmond, North Yorkshire, England:
"Our main focus is to be the top Audi team which, at Silverstone, proved to be a difficult task against the experienced Team Rosberg. We just have to keep improving as much as we can every time we go out. We're definitely moving in the right direction and the team is working flat out to make improvements. I'd prefer dry races at Brno as it would enable us to improve the car."
Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports:
"United Autosports will always strive to be the top Audi team. After that we will be wherever the 'Balance of Performance' puts us. At Silverstone I was a little surprised at the level of some of the drivers still eligible as pairings. Racing in a 'new' country and not at a 'main stream' venue always adds something to a race weekend. The series may not have been there yet but many of the drivers we are competing against have. I raced at Brno in a Lister Storm with Julian Bailey in GT1 so hopefully I can help our drivers. This is an element where we need to catch up quickly as our drivers have not raced at any of the remaining circuits but I'm confident we will steadily improve. The atmosphere in our team is fantastic and very positive."
John Della Penna (ARG), Partner & Sporting Director of United Autosports:
"One of the reasons for racing in Europe this year was to compete at some of the beautiful circuits that I have been seeing from afar during my career. Brno is certainly one of those circuits. I have seen Moto GP race there and it looks like a really challenging circuit. It's long with very technical corners. With the new BoP adjustments we [Audi] should be closer to the front -- however not knowing the circuit will be a disadvantage for our own drivers."