United Autosports kicked off its 2014 season with a strong result at the Bathurst 12 Hours, the first event in its most comprehensive season to date.
Mark Patterson, Eric Lux and and Markus Winkelhock took turns in the team’s Audi R8 LMS, coming home in sixth place overall despite competing with a heavy handicap in the Balance of Performance. The result adds to the R8’s list of successes, having multiple wins in the British GT Championship and enjoying podium results at prestigious events such as the Macau GT Cup.
Starting from ninth on the grid, Winkelhock took the car as high as second in the opening stint, which also saw him smash the 3.86-mile Mount Panorama lap record, only for the record to be beaten later in the race.
“It was a tough race, the heat was intense and we had good battles on track,” said Winkelhock. “I enjoyed my first race with United Autosports – they are a good team. The track is very challenging and for me it is a mix of the Nürburgring Nordschleife and a city street circuit. Every year I have wanted to come here so I’m glad to have finally made it.”
The team’s Audi ran reliably and consistently in the top six throughout the race, eventually finishing as the second highest R8, and taking sixth overall out of 42 starters . Only 28 cars made it to the flag, however, in a gruelling race that saw nine safety car periods, record pace and ambient temperatures reaching a scorching 40 degrees Celsius.
“It’s a great feeling to finish any long distance race but to know you have been competitive and run with the leaders throughout is very satisfying,” concluded Team Owner and Managing Director, Richard Dean. “The drivers and team have been faultless and the Audi as strong and dependable as ever. A top-six result in one of the world’s toughest races is a great way to start our season!”