Matt Bell and Mark Patterson ended the British GT Championship in the best possible way with a deserving win at Donington Park.
The duo took the Audi R8 LMS of United Autosports to the line eight seconds clear of their nearest opponents, allowing them to move from sixth place to finish second in the final championship standings, just 1.5 points off the outright title.
Patterson begun the race in the driving seat, pulling off what Bell described as the ‘stint of the year’. Following an early safety car period, Patterson went on the offensive, moving up to third by the time of his pitstop, having started from seventh on the grid.
A strong pitstop from the United Autosport mechanics meant that Bell rejoined the race in fourth place. Bell swiftly despatched the McLaren of Duncan Tappy, before setting his sights firmly on the BMW of Joe Osborne and the Ferrari of Rob Barff in front of him.
“Rob was defending well so we had a fun battle for about five laps and then I managed to pass the Ferrari,” said Bell. “I went after Joe and we were very evenly matched but my life was made a lot easier when he got a drive through and I was able to take the lead.”
Bell took the lead with 45 minutes left to run, battling with Barff for 20 minutes while the leaders picked their way through lapped traffic. Once clear air arrived, however, Bell was able to pull away and take a comfortable eight second victory.
“It’s always a good feeling to finish the year on a high with a race win,” concluded Bell. “I want to say a big thank you to United Autosports and also to our sponsors who we have had a lot of support from this year: Henderson, Castrol Edge and Viglen. A big thank you also needs to go to Audi and last but definitely not least to Mark Patterson who has been clean and quick all year. I have had a brilliant time driving with him.”