American Zak Brown (Carmel, IN), the Chairman and Co-Owner of United Autosports, and Argentinean Pablo PÃ©rez Companc drove their Remington sponsored #23 Audi with Michael Guasch (Walnut Creek, CA) the sole driver of the â€œsisterâ€ #22 Molecule R8 LMS. Guaschâ€™s fellow American co-driver, Mark Patterson, was unable to attend due to work commitments.
Despite inclement weather on the opening day of the two-day test at the AutodrÃ³mo Internacional do Algarve circuit near PortimÃ£o in Portugal (8-9 Mar), the American owned and British-based team clocked up a trouble-free 1,200km.
Richard Dean, Managing Director and Co-Owner of United Autosports, commented: â€œWe knew the Audi R8 LMS would be good but itâ€™s truly fantastic! We encountered no problems whatsoever.
â€œThe build quality is stunning. Audi Sport personnel were in attendance for our maiden runs while our drivers and engineers were highly delighted with the R8 LMS and the 2010-spec Michelin tyres.â€
Patterson will get his first run in the latest evolution version of the 525-hp Audi R8 LMS which claimed three championship titles and 23 race wins in its 2009 dÃ©but season at Silverstone (23-24 Mar) when he will be joined by all three team-mates.
The newly-formed teamâ€™s focus in 2010 is on successfully defending the FIA GT3 European Championship title for the German manufacturer which begins at Silverstone (GB) in May.
The 2010-spec Audi R8 LMS features detailed improvements to the chassis and suspension. The capacity of the engineâ€™s cooling system has been improved to cope with extreme ambient temperatures. Meanwhile the electronics and exhaust system have been further optimized.
Yorkshire-based United Autosports will make its race dÃ©but in the opening round of the British GT Championship at Oulton Park (5 Apr) a month before the FIA â€œopenerâ€ at Silverstone.
As a huge Audi fan, I am really excited about this for a couple of reasons. It is the R8’s foray into motorsport and having had the opportunity to drive the R8 at the Audi Sportscar Experience with Paul Charsley at the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, I feel a more intimate connection with the car and the capabilities.
I had a terrific time and have become even more attached to Audi’s racing endeavors. I also, via help from Mr. Pass, attended the Petit Le Mans and had the chance to spend time with the Audi team. While United is not the Audi factory team, I have a much better appreciation of just how professional Audi approaches their racing efforts and cars and I know that United is approaching it in the same manner.
I think Richard Dean and the team can be very proud of the new team and their efforts with Audi’s help and support and I am very excited to see how they will approach the series.