Eric Lux, Mark Patterson and Markus Winkelhock net fantastic top-six Bathurst result.
United Autosports has begun its most comprehensive season of motorsport activity since the Anglo-American team's formation in November 2009 by recording a top-six result in one of the world’s toughest GT sports car races.
A regular race winner in the British GT Championship and top-three “podium” finisher in such prestigious races as the Macau GT Cup, the UA Audi has now left its mark on the annual Australian race despite all of the GT3 class Audi sports cars being significantly handicapped by an out of sync Balance of Performance compared to the opposition.
The United Autosports Audi was the second best placed R8 LMS in the race to confirm the team’s fantastic achievement “Down Under”. A large crowd and a massive “live” TV and “on-line” audience saw just 28 of the 42 starters survive a bruising race featuring nine safety car interventions run at a record pace and in ambient temperatures nearing 40 degrees Celsius.
The Lux/Patterson/Winkelhock Audi had started from ninth on the 40-car grid, Winkelhock having briefly held provisional pole-position during Saturday’s three qualifying sessions. Winkelhock’s opening stint saw him running as high as second and within seven seconds of the lead – Markus having also shattered the 3.86-mile Mount Panorama’s lap record (2m 04.5863s) a time bettered later in a race in which the United Autosports Audi ran reliably, consistently and competitively in the top-six throughout.
#25 Allied World / Rembrandt Charms – Audi R8 LMS ultra
Eric Lux (USA). Age: 25. Born: Williamsville, N.Y., USA. Lives: Williamsville, N.Y., USA.
Bathurst 12Hr: 2013. Bathurst History: Only 2013 12Hr race.
“It was my first race with United Autosports and it was a fantastic experience. Engineer Taka did a brilliant job while all of the team was top-caliber. Finishing just one-place behind the similar Audi of Phoenix Racing, winners of this corresponding race two years ago, underlines what an amazing job the team and the drivers did in the intense heat.
“I hope that adjustments will be made to the Balance Of Performance because the lack of [straight line] speed from all of the Audi sports cars was plain to see by everyone.”
Mark Patterson (USA). Age: 62. Born: Port Elizabeth, S Africa. Lives: Bronxville, N.Y., USA.
Bathurst 12Hr: 2012. Bathurst History: 2012 & ’13 12Hr races.
“Taka's good strategy and all three drivers never making a significant mistake resulted in us being one of only two cars to make nine pit-stops during the race – two and sometimes four stops less than our rivals.
“Our race from a mechanics, engineering and driver discipline could not have been a smidge better – all that was missing was a fair BoP effort by the race organizers that resulted in all six Audis being at least 15kph down on our rivals’ top straight-line speeds.”
Markus Winkelhock (GB). Age: 33. Born: Bad Cannstatt, Germany. Lives: Berglen-Steinach, Germany.
Bathurst 12Hr: Début. Bathurst History: Début.
“It was a tough race, the heat was intense and we had good battles on track. I enjoyed my first race with United Autosports - they are a good team. The track is very challenging and for me it is a mix of the Nürburgring Nordschleife and a city street circuit. Every year I have wanted to come here so I’m glad to have finally made it.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports: “It's a great feeling to finish any long distance race but to know you have been competitive and run with the leaders throughout is very satisfying. The drivers and team have been faultless and the Audi as strong and dependable as ever. A top-six result in one of the world’s toughest races is a great way to start our season!”