United Autosports' Audi R8 LMS took to the track for the first time 2011 with the drivers the team will field in the European GT3 Championship and British GT Championship in action at Navarra.
Joe Osborne got his first taste of the new car, the 2009 European GT4 Cup champion a new face to the team for this year's FIA GT3 European Championship. Mark Patterson, who will co-drive with Osborne in the twelve race championship as was also at the test, as was Matt Bell – who will perform double duty this year, driving in both European and British competition. Rob Bell – Matt's older brother – was acting as driver coach for the team, but also got the chance to drive the Audi himself.
“The track was wet each morning but we were able to run slicks before lunchtime each day,” said team co-owner Richard Dean. “Matt, Mark and Joe each set good, competitive times while Rob did 10-laps at the end of the first day in his role as an official Dunlop 'test' driver. In general, a good test which unfortunately Zak [Brown] couldn't attend due to a prior business commitment but importantly it allowed Joe to get some decent mileage in his first run at the wheel of an Audi.”
With the team running all three of their cars – they have confirmed a three car entry in this year's 24 Hours of Spa – the drivers notched up over 1000 miles around the track that will host the third round of the European series.
The testing schedule will continue on British soil next month with British GT drivers John Bintcliffe and Jay Palmer taking the car around the Silverstone National layout.