20-year-old Ginetta G20 Championship graduate Matthew Bell has been drafted into complete United Autosports' driving line-up for the FIA GT3 European Championship.

The Newcastle born driver will replace Argentine Pablo Perez Companc in co-driving with Zak Brown at the US owned, UK based team which plans to field a pair of Audi R8 LMS in both the European and British series as part of Audi Motorsports customer racing effort. Browns fellow Americas Michael Gausch and Mark Patterson will run the sister car.

“United Autosports formed a ‘Junior Team’ specifically to oversee Matthew Bell in the Ginetta G50 Cup for 2010,” said team co-owner Richard Dean. “The intention was always for Matt to move up to GT3 with the Audi R8 LMS in 2011. The opportunity just so happens to have come early for him! Life is about opportunities and being ready to make the most of them.”

“I’m thrilled to be a member of the United Autosports team contesting the FIA GT3 series this year,” said Bell, who will continue to study for a History degree alongside his racing commitments. “It’s set to be one of the best series in Europe, so to be competing in such a competitive championship is very exciting particularly as this will be my first full year of racing cars!”

“I had a brief taste of racing in Europe when I contested the final Ginetta G20 race at Spa last year but I’ve never raced at any of the FIA series circuits before so it’s going to be a tough task to learn them all.”

Bell's first race in the car will come at the season opening race at Silverstone and is expected to contest the remainder of the twelve-race, six weekend season.

The team have yet to announce a long-term replacement for Companc in the British GT series after a “one off” driver for Richard Dean at the Outlon Park round.