FIA GT3 team United Autosports aim to continue their improvement this season in signing off from their debut season is the best possible fashion in the championship's final round at Zolder next weekend (October 9-10).
The Anglo-American team has struggled at time this year to come to terms with the more established teams and drivers in the GT3 European Championship. Held back by the Balance of Power disadvantage handed to the Audi R8 LMS racer after, with another team, the car won the championship in its first year of competition as well as a lack of experience for the team's quartet of drivers.
However, the team's fortunes look to have changed after a tremendous weekend at the previous round at Portimoa. American Zak Brown – also co-owner of the team – qualified on the front row for the first, while his co-driver Matt Bell and Mike Gausch both claimed their own personal bests in qualifying to start sixth in the second and first races respectively.
The races saw further progress, Gausch and teammate
“Portugal gave me the greatest pleasure so far,” he said. “Our podium and a front row qualifying position was pretty cool. I’m optimistic we can further improve and get both cars in the points and on to the podium. The championship is a lot tougher than I expected but we've made huge progress. I raced at Zolder about 16 years ago in an Opel Lotus single-seater. From what I recall, it was a fun but dangerous track for the brave!”
“Our PortimÃ£o podium has given me a taste of success and I want more,” adds Bell, the only Englishman among the drivers. “I'm hoping we can keep the momentum going forward in the final rounds.”
However, Patterson betrays the uphill struggle the team will once more be facing to learn the track before racing, a problem compounded by both races, unusually being on the same day.
“I've only previously 'visited' Zolder on YouTube,” explains the New York state resident. “Any racing fatality makes an impact on all of us emotionally, especially when greats like Gilles Villeneuve are taken away. The only silver lining is track and vehicle safety improvements derived from these tragedies.”