Mixed Fortunes at Brands Hatch for United Autosports
Monday 12th August 2013
United Autosports left Brands Hatch yesterday after a sixth place finish for championship contenders Matt Bell and Mark Patterson. Their Audi R8 LMS ultra qualified in 12th place, but the pair fought their way through the field to finish sixth. Towards the end of the race, Matt was catching the leading cars but ran out of time to make a pass. Mark and Matt now lie third in the championship, only 16 points behind the leaders.
Although the race wasn’t as successful for the two McLaren MP4-12C’s, Jody Firth showed his true racing skill in the #24 car, making his way up as far as 6th place from a lowly 28th on the grid. After a successful pit stop and driver change, Glynn Geddie made his way out onto the track for his stint. Unfortunately, a problem with the gear box control unit meant Glynn had to come into the pits and retire the car. Up until that point it was looking like a certain podium finish was on the cards.
Zak Brown’s race ended rather abruptly, only five minutes before the end of his stint, with a spectacular tyre blow out at 160mph which spun the McLaren around, hitting the barrier and destroying the back end of the car. Fortunately, Zak walked away from what he described as the biggest crash of his life. After qualifying in P13, Zak, and team mate Alvaro Parente looked to be on for a good result until the car was unceremoniously forced out of the race before Alvaro even had the chance to drive.
The team now head to Zandvoort, Holland, for the penultimate round of the British GT Championship where Mark and Matt aim to add to their championship points to challenge for the title.
#24 McLaren MP4-12C
Jody Firth, Driver, United Autosports
“We knew we had to be aggressive in the first few laps and that’s what we did. There was a little bit of rubbing, but everybody was so bunched up that nobody spun so I just settled into my race and started picking off people. To start 28th and finish up pitting in eighth is a good result, and I was happy with that. Sadly, we were unable to capitalise on the first hour and Glynn had to pit after only a few laps with an electrical issue so we were out of the race. That was disappointing.”
Glynn Geddie, Driver, United Autosports
“Jody did an outstanding job so I am really disappointed that we had to retire from the race. There was a definite chance of a podium today. To have another electrical failure is just frustrating especially when a podium was within sight.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports
“The Audi performed well and sixth was the best we could achieve on the day. We had race winning pace but didn’t do the job in qualifying. It’s a good amount of points to add to our total. We are now third in the championship, so we will have to fight really hard to get back to the top during the last two rounds. But three races to go and lots of points available means we are still in with a good shot.”