United Autosports Shuffle Driver Line-Up For Rockingham Round

Alvaro Parente and Jody Firth will make their 2013 race debuts with United Autosports ((Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

United Autosports will welcome Alvaro Parente and Jody Firth to Rockingham for this weekend’s Avon Tyres British GT Championship race at Northamptonshire track.

Both men will be making their 2013 British GT Championship debuts as they join – or rejoin in Parente’s case – the team for the second weekend of the campaign. The pair will slot into the team’s two McLaren MP4-12C GT3 machines. Portuguese Parente – a development driver for Mclaren’s GT machine – joins team co-owner Zak Brown in the #23 car. Firth will drive the #24 car with Mark Blundell.

Blundell was forced to sit out the season opening races at Oulton Park after them co-driver Roger Wills crashed in qualifying. Brown, driving with 2011 British GT champion Glynn Geddie, left the Cheshire track with only a single point despite Geddie running as high as third late on the in the first race of the weekend.

The best result of the team’s weekend went to Matt Bell and Mark Patterson who finished second in the second of the weekend’s hour long races after a final couple of laps when Patterson pressured eventual winner David Ashburn after a late safety car period.

Bell and Patterson – who share an Audi R8 LMS ultra – will begin the Rockingham weekend fifth in points.

“The season opener was full of ups and downs,” said Brown’s fellow co-owner Richard Dean. “Missing out on a podium with the No. 23 McLaren in the first race was disappointing; however, Mark and Matt finishing second in the final race was a great result. We have been busy preparing and have an upgrade on the No. 23 McLaren this weekend. We have Álvaro back and we welcome Jody into the mix. As I have said before it’s a tough championship, but we are in the hunt.”

theCheckeredFlag.co.uk will have full coverage of the Rockingham British GT weekend, including live coverage of the two hour race on Monday May 6.