11 August, 2013
Matt Bell was back in the United Autosports Audi R8 LMS ultra this weekend for Round Seven of the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch. He and his team-mate Mark Patterson finished today’s two-hour race in sixth place, scoring points that place the duo in third position in the championship. With three races to go the title fight is now on!
Matt and Mark had a good start to the weekend with the United Autosports team quickly getting the Audi’s set up into the groove at Brands. Running on the full Grand Prix circuit both drivers posted good times in the practice session, despite it being Mark’s first race on the Kent track.
Unfortunately they were left scratching their heads after qualifying when they could only manage a lap time that put them in 12th place on the grid.
“We just couldn’t get the balance right on new tyres,” explained Matt. “We could get the rears to work but not the fronts. Unusually it got better as the session went on and I actually did my fastest time on my seventh lap.”
The start of the race was a tough one for Mark who lost a few places in the difficult mid-zone of the grid where all of the pushing and shoving takes place. He kept a very cool head though and steadily made his way back through the order, despite taking a few hits along the way.
Mark handed the Audi over to Matt in 11th place and the fight back continued.
“The car felt great when I got in,” said Matt. “We really got the set up sorted for the race and it was good to get out there and be consistently fast. I managed to make a few moves and got up to sixth place, all the time catching the lead group.
“It’s a shame we didn’t start further up as we could have been challenging for the lead,” he continued. “The lesson we learnt today is to get it right in qualifying. We have the driver pairing, the team and the car to win. We’re still very much in the mix with three races to go and a lot of points up for grabs. United Autosports gave me the best car I’ve had all year today. We’re getting on top of it at the crucial point of the season when every lap counts.”