United Autosports Claims FIA GT3 European Championship Podium Finish

Our favorite GT3 team is at it again! After a terrific showing at Spa, the team have claimed another podium at Algarve. The official Audi “customer” team claimed the position when Zak Brown and Matt Bell swept their Audi R8 LMS to a magnificent third place – a mere 8.356secs behind the winner – in Sunday’s one-hour race after 33-laps around the technical 2.92-mile Portuguese track.

The race was hard fought as Brown’s Audi had been clouted from behind in Race 1 on Saturday. Brown Said:

“Race 1 promised so much but delivered nothing. The pole-starting Corvette and I both had terrible starts, the Pace Car seemed to bring us around very slowly and as soon as the race started we were engulfed and I took a hit from behind. It was very disappointing and frustrating after achieving our first front row start – after that I just tried to keep my cool. I took over from Matt in Race 2 and rejoined just in front of three cars already up to speed and I made a mistake and spun at Turn 1. That cost around 10secs and we finished eight behind the winner at the checker! The rest of the stint was brilliant and I was comfortably catching the guys ahead in the closing stages – it was great fun. Richard [Dean] and the entire team have done a fantastic job in our first season and I’m delighted with the Audi R8 LMS. We arrived here on the back of a rostrum finish in the 24 Hours of Spa and have achieved a front row start, scored our first top-three finish while the #22 Audi scored our first ever championship point yesterday so a tremendous weekend for United Autosports.”

A terrific job by the team and earning their first championship point is a good milestone to grow on. The team now face the final two rounds of the FIA GT3 European Championship at Zolder (Belgium) over October 9-10. If that wasn’t enough, the team have also announced they will compete in the third and final round of the inaugural Intercontinental Le Mans Cup at Zhuhai in China on Sunday November 7.

The team will prepare the R8’s in the specification as raced in the Spa 24 Hours (Jul 31-Aug 1) for the six hour race which will mark the first-ever race for the Audi R8 LMS in China – a highly important and successful market for AUDI AG.

French duo Alain Li, who raced with United Autosports at Spa, and Henri Richard, will drive one R8 LMS with the drivers for the second Audi expected to be announced later this month. United Autosports achieved third and fourth positions in the GT3 category at Spa – the team’s maiden 24 hour race – with Hong Kong-based Li sharing the fourth placed car. Richard, who lives in California, has contested the 2010 American Le Mans Series and will be making his début with the team co-owned by Zak Brown and Richard Dean.

You may recall also that Zak Brown graciously took time to speak with us at F1B Downshift. You can find those interviews here.

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