28 May, 2014
The British GT Championship arrives in Northamptonshire this weekend for the three-hour ‘Silverstone 500’. After a difficult start to the 2014 season, Matt Bell and his United Autosports team-mate Mark Patterson are looking for a return to their winning ways in the No.23 Audi R8 LMS ultra.
“The season certainly hasn't gone to plan so far,” said Matt. “We're now in a position where only wins and podiums will give us any chance of challenging for the title so we will be focusing on that. Even when you have a good result you have to get focused on the next event, so after our bad run it's more important than ever to forget what's passed and look ahead.”
Silverstone was the scene of Matt’s first ever win in a racing car, back in 2010 and, as the winner of the British GT round there two years ago he is hoping the legacy will continue.
“I love Silverstone,” he said. “The high speed sections are great to drive and very rewarding when you get them right. It’s a bit of a mixed bag for the Audi, the famous high-speed sections of the circuit will suit the car but there are also some long straights where a few of the other marques have an advantage over us. Hopefully we can qualify well and make our aero advantage count with no traffic ahead.”
The Silverstone race is the one, and only, three-hour event in this year’s British GT Championship. The longer events can provide an advantage to the more experienced drivers.
“I've always liked the longer races in British GT, especially in the Audi as we've always had good tyre life which helps us in the second half of the long stints. Mark is also very strong against the other bronze competitors across an hour stint, which will help us a lot.”
With a good turnout of spectators expected at Silverstone, Matt has some advice for those looking to see some real wheel-to-wheel GT action.
“If you want to see the cars handling at their best you can't beat Maggots and Becketts, but the majority of the overtaking action will be at the new Village complex or into Brooklands, right in front of the BRDC Clubhouse. These are wide-open sections with a variety of driving lines so there are likely to be a few good lunges!”
The three-hour race will give everyone a good chance to view from a variety of Silverstone’s famous twists and turns and if you miss any of the action the whole thing will be shown on Motors TV on Sunday at 17:00hrs BST.