United Autosports Aiming To Reproduce Spa "Marathon" Form On the Algarve After an 11 week break, the FIA GT3 European Championship reconvenes in the Algarve (Portugal) next weekend (September 17-19) with United Autosports aiming to reproduce its...
United Autosports Aiming To Reproduce Spa "Marathon" Form On the Algarve
After an 11 week break, the FIA GT3 European Championship reconvenes in the Algarve (Portugal) next weekend (September 17-19) with United Autosports aiming to reproduce its scintillating Spa 24 Hour race form in the two, one-hour "sprint" races.
The British-based team staged the maiden test for its brand new Audi R8 LMS sports cars at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve circuit near Portimão in March -- a 2.92-mile venue where the R8 LMS scored its first FIA GT3 European Championship race victory at last year's corresponding event.
In what has been a difficult baptism at times this season for the brand new team, United Autosports heads to Portugal full of confidence after posting third and fourth positions in the GT3 category of the 24 Hours of Spa (July 31-Aug 1), determined to translate its "marathon" form in to scoring its maiden championship points. United Autosports will test with all four of its drivers at Estoril (POR) next Monday and Tuesday (Sep 13-14).
#22 Molecule / Cerutti -- Audi R8 LMS
Michael Guasch (USA). Lives: Walnut Creek, California, USA:
"Out of all of our FIA races we've run so far this year, I am looking forward to this track the most. Firstly because Zak [Brown] and I tested the R8 LMS at Portimão back in March and secondly, we now have been given a more competitive car for the first time this year courtesy of the latest FIA Balance of Power changes. I have a very good version of the track on my simulator which will allow me great preparation. Since the Ricard FIA race I have tested my formula car and competed in one race with IRL at Sonoma, CA. But I'm really looking forward to our Estoril test next week to shake out the cobwebs from our long summer break."
Mark Patterson (USA). Lives: Bronxville, New York State, USA:
"I'm eagerly anticipating racing competitively for the first time this year in the FIA series following the power adjustment made in time for the 24 Hours of Spa. It's been a trifle frustrating driving the Audi R8 LMS way down the field which has been totally unrepresentative of the car's performance. We've had both cars knocking on the door of scoring points and I'm confident we'll be in the top-10 in Portugal despite not personally having seen this track previously. After achieving fourth place in the 24 Hours of Spa for United Autosports, I've raced a Doran-Ford in Grand Am races at Watkins Glen and Montreal."
#23 Remington -- Audi R8 LMS
Zak Brown (USA). Lives: Carmel, Indiana, USA:
"United Autosports' very first track test with the R8 LMS was at the Algarve back in March. This circuit is one of my favorites and, in my opinion, the best on the FIA GT3 European Championship schedule. It's a very fast rollercoaster ride. I believe and fervently hope that our final races will be our most competitive -- I'll be disappointed if both cars don't finish in the points. Since the Ricard races I've raced some of my historic race car collection in North America -- at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Canada, Watkins Glen and at Laguna Seca which was great fun but the serious racing starts again now."
Matthew Bell (GB). Lives: Barningham nr Richmond, North Yorkshire, England:
"The Audi has been granted more power by the FIA since Ricard which hopefully means we can finish the year off on a high -- we are certainly targeting a good finish to the year -- and I'm aiming to be in the points. But it's still an extremely difficult and competitive series so I'm taking nothing for granted, it will be hard work! Since Ricard I've contested a British GT Championship race at Silverstone in a Ginetta with my older brother Rob taking the G4 class honors. It was extremely valuable for me as not only did it break the long gap in the FIA calendar but I was also able to learn a huge amount from racing alongside Rob and benefit from his wealth of experience and success. I visited the Algarve track to watch Rob race in the Le Mans Series race last month and it looks a great venue."
Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports:
"Our targets for the final FIA races are to achieve top-10 finishes with both cars including at least one podium. I have high hopes for the remainder of the season with the new Balance of Power decisions. We were competitive at Spa and I expect to carry that through into the Algarve and then Zolder races. I love the Algarve track having contested the first ever race there when the circuit opened two years ago, winning GT4 in a Ginetta. It's also the first track this season we have been to where a couple of our drivers have some circuit knowledge due to our pre-season test. We've been busy with ground up rebuilds of both cars following Spa. United Autosports also entered the British GT Championship race with our Ginetta and displayed our cars at the TRAX show at Silverstone earlier this month."
-source: united autosports