United Autosports Returns To GRAND-AM For Final Races
Zak Brown & Mark Blundell to race #23 Ford-Riley at Watkins Glen & Mid-Ohio
Zak Brown (USA) and Mark Blundell (GB) will contest two of the final three GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 races.
It’ll also be good to be back with the Michael Shank Racing crew...
Brown and Blundell will pilot the United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing #23 Ford-Riley in the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen (August 12-13) and the EMCO Gears Classic series finale staged at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (September 16-17).
The two-race program marks a return to the 12-series for the United Autosports entry having contested the opening two races of the 2011 season.
Brown and Blundell, together with Martin Brundle (GB) and Mark Patterson (USA), achieved fourth place in the Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 29-30) while Blundell and Michael Valiante (CAN) finished sixth in the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead (March 5).
United Autosports Chairman & Co-Owner Brown is contesting the FIA GT3 European Championship for a second consecutive year. He and Blundell are amongst a “stellar” 12-driver line-up competing in the Total 12 Hours of Spa in Belgium (July 30-31) that also includes Formula One and 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Stefan Johansson (SE) plus 1998 Indianapolis 500 race winner, Eddie Cheever (USA), Johnny Herbert (GB), plus double Indy 500 race winner Arie Luyendyk (NL).
- 23 – Riley-Ford Mark Blundell (GB). Age: 45. Born: Barnet, England. Lives: Royston, England:
“I am so looking forward to racing with my good friend Zak as my co-driver again in the Riley. He is not to be underestimated behind the wheel. It’ll also be good to be back with the Michael Shank Racing crew after Daytona and Miami. I’ve missed the GRAND-AM series. I know Mid-Ohio from my Indy Car days but Watkins Glen will be a learning curve. Having started the GRAND-AM season and to be there at the finish is the icing on the cake for my 2011 season.”
Zak Brown (USA). Age: 39. Born: Los Angeles, California, USA. Lives: Carmel, Indiana, USA:
“It’s very pleasing we are able to do more GRAND-AM races beyond Daytona and Miami and that it gets Mark [Blundell] an opportunity for some more serious racing. I’ve only raced once at both Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio. I won a Legends of Motorsports race driving a Porsche 962 at the Glen last year, a track which I personally believe is the best in the US, and ran a Formula Atlantic race at Mid-Ohio in 1998. I’m certain the United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing #23 Ford-Riley will again be in contention for a rostrum finish as it was at Daytona and in Miami.”
Mike Shank (USA), Team Owner of Michael Shank Racing:
“I’m very pleased to welcome Zak and Mark back again for two races in the United Autosports entry. We had an outstanding first race with them in the Rolex 24 and very nearly scored a podium result. And the #23 Riley-Ford was also really strong again at Homestead. I know that Zak has been keeping sharp with his racing in Europe and Mark was such a quick study in the Daytona Prototype, he’s going to pick up right where he left off earlier this year. So, we are optimistic that we can produce good results at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio and are really looking forward to a strong close to the year.”
By: michael shank racing