United Autosports Overcome the Challenges of a Rain Soaked Silverstone

06 June, 2012

  • Encouraging start after two day test
  • Top six qualifying signals strong pace
  • Superb recovery drive for the # 22 McLaren MP4-12C GT3

For the United Autosports team it was a weekend of ups and downs and one which was not representative of their abilities. However, they left Silverstone confident that they can turn their fortunes around during the next round at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.

Following on from a positive two-day test at Snetterton the team were encouraged with the development and speed of the car ahead of the Silverstone race. Both cars had shown good pace duringfree practice, despite a huge grid of 54 cars on track.

They arrived at Silverstone for their home race, intending to use the practice sessions to set up both McLaren MP4-12C GT3 cars, dial in the settings and prepare for the three part qualifying session on Saturday.

Alvaro Parente set the fastest time for the # 22 Pro Cup Class car ending the overall qualifying session 3rd in class securing a P6 grid slot for the race. Mark Blundell set the quickest time of the three drivers in the #23 Pro/AM car and despite his best efforts he could not find a clear lap so had to settle for P18 by the end of the busy qualifying session.

With the predicted heavy rain on Sunday morning, the race was started under the safety car amid an overall grid of 54 cars running in single file for the first five laps.

Matt was behind the wheel of the #22 Pro Cup car and after the safety car pulled in he made a great start. Once the race settled down he started pushing to improve his position and closed the gap to the leaders to within five seconds. Matt handed over to David Brabham in P5 who set about closing in on the front runners when he was unexpectedly hit by another car, and pushed into the gravel. David managed to get the car back on track but had lost valuable time. He made his way into the pits where the team checked the car over and Alvaro Parente jumped in for the final stage of the race. Once behind the wheel he set about making up for lost time and by the mid way point of his stint had unlapped himself. Alvaro began to close the gap in the final stages and despite a superb drive had to settle for P23 on the road as the chequered flag fell at the three-hour mark.

Matt Bell
#22 Pro Cup Class McLaren MP4-12C GT3

"It was a tricky start to the race under the safety car but I got away well. I had the pace and was staying with the leaders, which was satisfying. During the end of my stint, the tyres had started to go off so it was a case of managing them before I handed over to David."

David Brabham
#22 Pro Cup Class McLaren MP4-12C GT3

"Our home race here at Silverstone just didn't go according to plan. We had the pace, but I got tagged by one of the slower cars and ended up in the gravel. That resulted in us losing a lap so we were up against it. I'm disappointed for the team; they have worked really hard in the build up to this one. We will go away now and be stronger from this experience. We are in good shape for the next round at Paul Ricard."

Alvaro Parente
#22 Pro Cup Class McLaren MP4-12C GT3

"Not the result we wanted. I'm really disappointed. The team has worked so hard and deserved a better result. Thecars were very competitive, and we had expected a better outcome. That was not to be and the weather didn't help us either, but we know we have the pace."

Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director
"We didn't get the result we wanted, but we have made some significant steps forward. The pace as good but we had incidents on track, which made a result impossible. I'm looking forward to the next round at a "sunny" Paul Ricard and being in a position to maximize our potential."

Ends

Next Round: Round Three Blancpain Endurance Series
Paul Ricard, France. 30th June/1st July 2012

United Autosports Overcome the Challenges of a Rain Soaked Silverstone