Mark Blundell is stepping down from United Autosports’ Avon Tyres British GT Championship team, the former F1 and Indycar driver citing increasing business commitments for his decision.
Blundell explained; “it’s a great shame that I have to step-down from the British GT Championship race programme with United Autosports but my focus has been on building my sports management business and I need to commit my time and attention to that in full, as will became apparent in the near future with a very exciting announcement.”
“Of course I shall still be present in an ambassador role for United Autosports to support the team and personal sponsors, all of whom I would like to say a big thank you to for allowing me to concentrate on the next stage of developing my business. When the time is right and I can assure the team of my full involvement, I hope to be back behind the wheel of a United Autosports race car in the future, but in the meantime, a big thank you to all the staff members and our sponsors for the season so far.”
Blundell was drafted into the team during the off-season, replacing Jody Firth as co-driver to Richard Meins, before Meins was injured in a testing crash and replaced with Roger Wills for the opening weekend at Oulton Park.
However, Blundell’s British GT debut was postponed when Wills crashed their McLaren MP4-12C GT3 in qualifying. Instead his first race came at Rockingham where, now partnering Jody Firth the pair were given a penalty after Blundell failed – as required – to tighten the seat belts for Firth at the driver change in the two hour race. Contact then brought Blundell’s participation in the most recent race at Silverstone to a halt inside the opening 30 minutes.
Despite Blundell’s departure United Autosports will continue their three car campaign in the champion with two McLarens joined by a single Audi R8 LMS ultra.
As such Blundell will be replaced in the driving seat, with 2011 British GT champion Glynn Geddie filling for this weekend’s Snetterton meeting. The departing driver will remain part of the team in an ambassadorial role, with the team leaving the door open for him to return to the driving seat when other factors allow.