05 March, 2012
Leeds-based United Autosports today announced it will campaign an Audi R8 LMS GT3 in the 2012 Avon Tyres British GT Championship for Matt Bell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) and Charles Bateman (Boston, Lincolnshire) in a bid to lift the title it so narrowly missed out on last year.
The team was one of the front-running outfits in 2011, having taken several pole positions and led the championship for the majority of the season with drivers Bell and Mike Guasch. Bateman too, was a double race winner in the series last year and with this dynamic young pairing, the team has every confidence it can lift the crown in the United Autosports' Audi R8 LMS GT3.
The Audi R8 is one of the most successful GT cars in the history of the sport, having taken over 100 race wins to date, and the United Autosports car will be updated to the latest 2012 specification.
Organiser, SRO Motorsports Group, has a seven-meeting calendar scheduled for 2012 featuring the UK's best circuits, Oulton Park, Rockingham, Snetterton and the Grand Prix circuits of Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Donington Park. The overseas round, meanwhile, will take place on the German Grand Prix circuit at the Nürburgring. Once again SRO is repeating the successful mix of one, two and three-hour races for the 2012 Avon Tyres British GT Championship.
Co-owned by American, Zak Brown and Briton, Richard Dean, having already finalised their plans to contest the Blancpain Endurance Series, have now finalised a second program in the British GT Championship. Entering its third season of GT racing, United Autosports has already achieved over and above all expectations in only two years and in 2012 the team is firmly set on taking its first major GT sportscar title.
Charles Bateman (UK), Age 25. Born: Boston, Lincs UK. Lives: Boston, Lincs, UK:
"Last year was my first in BGT and it was a good first season finishing with two wins and a third in the championship. I think the series will be even more competitive this year and I'm looking forward to the challenge. I'm pleased to be racing with Matt rather than against him as I did last year! I think the Audi R8 LMS is the GT3 car to be driving this year as it's a proven winner and I'm excited to be getting the chance to get behind the wheel. It will also be good that Matt knows the Audi inside out and that should help me get up to speed quickly with the car.
"I'm very pleased to be given the opportunity to race with United Autosports, with continued support from Pilgrim Foodservice and Hendersons Insurance Brokers, and I'm looking forward to getting started with what has to be the best team in any GT paddock."
Matt Bell (UK), Age 22. Born: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. Lives: Barningham, UK:
"I'm very excited to be back in BGT for a second year. It's the first time I've done a series two years running with all the same circuits which I hope will be a benefit! I'm also looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the Audi; we had some good results in it last year but missed out on the championship, so I'm hoping to rectify that this year. In Charles Bateman I think I've got the best possible team mate to do that with; we both won races last year and have experience in the series, so it's a great chance for us to use those factors to our advantage and fight for top spot in 2012."
Zak Brown (USA), Co-Owner and CEO of United Autosports:
"It's great to be back in British GT with our Audi. We were very successful in 2011 winning our first race and being a contender for the championship throughout the season. We have high expectations with Matt and Charles in the car for 2012 and intend to continue our winning form."
Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports:
"We need to step up from being a race-winning team to becoming a championship-winning team. The BGT has become a serious series with professional teams and competitive drivers; this driver line-up gives us every chance to compete for the title. We are in our third season with Audi and it is a very competitive package we have put together."
2012 Avon Tyres British GT Championship
|21 Mar||Silverstone||Championship launch & media day|
|07 April||Oulton Park||British F3 & GT|
|17 May||Nürburgring GP||Support for 24 Hour race|
|9 June||Rockingham||British F3 & GT|
|23 June||Brands Hatch GP||British F3 & GT|
|04 August||Snetterton 300||British F3 & GT|
|08 September||Silverstone GP||British F3 & GT|
|29 September||Donington Park GP||British F3 & GT|