GT

BGTC: United Autosports 2010 season preview

Maiden GT races on "home soil" for newly-formed US owned, UK operated "customer" Audi team Managing Director Richard Dean and Co-Owner of United Autosports along with American Zak Brown, has been drafted in to the driver line-up for its maiden...

Maiden GT races on "home soil" for newly-formed US owned, UK operated "customer" Audi team

Managing Director Richard Dean and Co-Owner of United Autosports along with American Zak Brown, has been drafted in to the driver line-up for its maiden race event. Dean somewhat fittingly replaces the convalescing Argentinean, Pablo Perez Companc, in the newly-formed team and will co-drive the Remington Audi R8 LMS with regular driver Brown in a one-off race appearance.

American duo Michael Guasch and Mark Patterson share the "sister" Molecule/Cerutti R8 LMS in the opening rounds of the Avon British GT Championship at Oulton Park (Cheshire, England) on Easter Monday (April 5).

The two, one-hour races will not only mark the race debut of newly-formed American owned and UK-operated United Autosports but will record the first time the 2009 FIA GT3 European Championship winning Audi R8 LMS sports car has competed in the British GT series.

Companc had been signed last October to co-drive with Brown in this year's FIA GT3 European Championship -- United Autosports' main focus in 2010 -- and drove at the team's maiden test in Portugal (March 8-9). Pablo, who suffered major injuries to his feet and legs in the 2007 Indy Pro Series "opener", has now been forced to delay his FIA GT3 campaign.

United Autosports makes the short 70-mile journey from its Birstall near Leeds base in England to Oulton Park near Chester on Friday (April 2). While Dean is a multiple race victor -- including winning the prestigious Gold Cup race 20 years ago -- at the picturesque and undulating 2.692-mile Cheshire venue, the American trio has never previously raced at Oulton.

Two practice sessions precede two qualifying time trials staged on Easter Saturday (April 3) with the opening rounds of the Avon British GT Championship at Oulton Park on Easter Monday (April 5) at 1125 and 1630 (BST) respectively with both races lasting 60 minutes in duration.

#22 Molecule/Cerutti Audi R8 LMS

Michael Guasch (USA). Lives: Walnut Creek, California:

"We're hoping for good things at Oulton but of course having not previously raced there like Zak and my co-driver Mark, it'll be a baptism of fire to a certain extent especially as most of our competitors will be British GT regulars. However, we showed good pace against many of those guys at Silverstone but whatever happens, it'll be good experience for us concerning the forthcoming FIA series."

Mark Patterson (USA). Lives Bronxville, New York State:

"Oulton marks the first race for Michael and I in England and having spent the last five years competing in the GRAND-AM Road Racing Series in North America, I'm sure I'll definitely find big, big differences both on and off the track. I've watched videos of races at Oulton Park and it looks an incredibly challenging course with amazing elevation changes."

#23 Remington Audi R8 LMS

Zak Brown (USA). Lives: Carmel, Indiana:

"I'm really looking forward to giving United Autosports its GT race debut having spent the winter months pulling all of the elements together with Richard -- it's a very exciting program for us. The Oulton race also marks a new era for Audi with its maiden race in the British GT series so it's doubly important for us all. I've never previously raced at Oulton but went around there many, many years ago and from what I remember it's a very difficult circuit so I expect to have my hands full."

Richard Dean (GB). Lives: Leeds, England:

"Pablo is having medical advice on his rehabilitation and everyone at United Autosports wishes him a speedy and full recovery. Because of the time constraints the simplest thing is for me to drive at Oulton Park then find a permanent replacement in time for the opening FIA races in May. I briefly drove the Audi R8 LMS in Portugal and again at Silverstone last week [24 March] and it's a beautiful piece of engineering so it won't be too much of a hardship for me!"

John Della Penna (ARG), Sporting Director of United Autosports:

"Unfortunately after the initial test at Algarve, Pablo suffered severe pain in his legs. He is currently undergoing medical evaluation but at this stage, the prospect of him racing in this year's FIA GT3 European Championship is unlikely. I'm very disappointed for Pablo because I know how much the United Autosports program meant to him. But his health must come first. I personally wish him a fast return to the sport -- he's not only a talented driver and intense competitor but a quality human being."

Audi R8 LMS (Sportscar according to FIA GT3 regulations)

V10 5.2-liter engine, 4 valves per cylinder, petrol direct injection, emission control by two racing catalytic converters, rear-wheel-drive, traction control (ASR), sequential pneumatic activated 6-speed sport gearbox with shift-paddles, Audi Space Frame (ASF) made of aluminum with bolted steel roll-cage, carbon-fiber composite/aluminum bodywork. Developed by Audi Sport with cooperation with quattro GmbH. Won FIA GT3 European Championship, ADAC-GT Masters and Belgian GT Championship plus Nurburgring 24 Hours and Spa 24 Hours class victories in debut 2009 season scoring a total 23 victories.

-source: united autosports

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Series GT
Drivers Mark Patterson , Richard Dean , Zak Brown , Pablo Perez Companc