Entering two cars in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship for first time in 2012 United Autosports finished first and third in the season finale at Donington Park, team co-owner Zak Brown and Alvaro Parente taking victory in the two hour event.
Brown and Parente stood alongside teammates and British GT regulars Charles Bateman and Matt Bell on the podium, the latter pairing scoring maximum points for the third time in four races with neither the winning pairing, nor the second placed Reiter Engineering team eligible for championship points.
Parente, despite a puncture postponing his final hot laps of the qualifying session, hade done enough to secure second place on the grid for starting driver Brown, from which the American took the lead from polesitter Nico Pronk in the Reiter Lamborghini.
Brown would fall back to fifth in the opening half of the race as Charles Bateman moved forward in the sister McLaren MP4-12C, taking second place and cutting down the deficit to leader Alex Buncombe, before spinning on the penultimate lap of his stint.
Bell rejoined the race in fourth place, the longer pitstop for the double-silver rated driver pairing and the success penalty after their Silverstone win, taking its toll on the team.
Following a brief safety car period for the Speedworks Corvette off at McLeans the two McLarens swapped places on track, Parente passing Bell for third place before the two red, white and blue cars made their way to the front in tandem, Parente taking the lead from Godfrey Jones in the Preci-Spark Mercedes SLS on lap 61, Bell taking second a lap later to give the team a brief 1-2 before Lamborghini driver Peter Kox took second place.
Over the closing laps Kox cut Parente’s lead to less than four seconds but the Portuguese had enough of a lead to take victory for the team.
“Winning the race was great,” said Brown. “Alvaro is such a star and he drove a superb race. I was happy with my stint. I got a great start and managed to take the lead. I couldn’t hold it for long, but I managed to bring the car home in the top five. Matt and Charles also had a great race so it was a fantastic day for the United Autosports team.”
“It was a fight from the off,” added Bell. “I came out of the pits in fourth so right away it was hard going. It took a while for me to get past the Porsche so I waited on my opportunity, and it came near the end of the race. The team has worked really hard so a big thank you to them. Congratulations also to Zak and Alvaro on a brilliant result.”
United Autosports’ focus now turns to thoughts of a return to the Guia Circuit on the streets of Macau before a full season in the British GT Championship in 2013 with two McLarens.