One of the most diverse teams in auto racing, United Autosports are partnering with the respected and experienced DAMS (Droit-Associes MotorSport)to build/race a Pescarolo-Judd LMP2 car in the 10-hour Petit Le Mans.
So far in 2011, United Autosports have competed in the FIA GT2 European Championship, British GT Championship, Daytona 24-Hours, and the Spa 24-Hours. In July, while at Le Mans, the team was afforded the opportunity to get the feel of the car that co-owner/driver Zak Brown, Mark Patterson, and ex-F1 driver Stefan Johansson, will be piloting this week at Road Atlanta. Brown and Patterson will be making their debut in a Le Mans Prototype (LMP) car at the event.
Mark Patterson, clearly excited at the prospect said, “Our challenge is to learn enough to get the most out of the car, as a class win guarantees a Le Mans grid spot – the ultimate cherry in sports car racing. Zak told me the biggest leap of faith is learning to trust the carbon brakes, which allow you to start slowing down well after your heart has already stopped – just so much deeper into the big corners than a steel brake car permits.”
Patterson closed with, “I’ve studied coach Danny Watts’ Road Atlanta notes like an 8 year old’s multiplication tables the night before exams and hope that my maiden LMP bum-in-seat experience lasts more than a lap and ultimately quick lap times.”
Zak Brown commented on his team's partnership with DAMS, “I’m very much looking forward to my debut in a LMP2 car. I really enjoy driving with Stefan and Mark and think the United Autosports partnerships with DAMS should make for a competitive outing.”
With the addition of Stefan Johansson, United Autosports gains a wealth of experience from across the racing spectrum. Johansson has won the Le Mans 24-Hour, made the podium in the American Le Mans Series in both LMP1 and LMP2 classes, with a second place at Petit Le Mans in 2006 and possesses a career in the FIA Formula One World Championship.
Speaking towards his strengths, the Swede said, “Petit Le Mans has developed into one of the premier events in North American racing, together with Sebring for the sports car arena and it's great to be back there in a prototype. LMP is the type of racing I've been enjoying the most for the past ten years so I'm delighted to be back out in one. Zak and I tested the car at Le Mans earlier in the year and it felt very good. It's a pretty good car so we're looking forward to the weekend and hopefully we'll have a good run.”