British GT stalwarts United Autosports are aiming at a British Touring Car Championship entry for the 2014 season, having begun testing a recently-acquired Toyota Avensis from Dynojet.
The Yorkshire-based squad bossed by Zak Brown and Richard Dean is keen to add BTCC to its portfolio for the 2014 season, former Team HARD racer James Cole giving the ex-Frank Wrathall Toyota its initial pair of run-outs as they hope to gain a TBL Licence from TOCA required to compete in the 2014 season.
The team have become a familiar face in GT racing having raced Audi and McLaren machinery over recent British GT seasons, including narrowly missing out on the 2013 title at Donington Park by a mere one and a half points.
Team boss – and racer – Dean said: “The BTCC is a major championship so of course we want to be involved, but there is a stringent new entry process and we aren’t making any presumptions about being granted a slot on the grid. Priority is given to existing teams, but we hope that we can fit in somewhere.
“We bought the Wrathall car and we want to go to touring cars”, he added. “We’re out testing as we should be and we’re serious about it.”
Former Formula Ford champion Cole was the man given the initial driving duties of the ex-Wrathall Avensis at Donington, completing a second test on Wednesday (28 November) with the squad who confirmed they will run a selection of drivers prior to the winter break.
Dean assured that he is confident of the squad’s chances of securing a place on the grid for next season’s BTCC campaign, the team’s main focus being to achieve one of the new-for-2014 TBL licences to automatically qualify for their place.
“We will be testing a few drivers before the circuits shut for the winter break”, added Dean.
“It is important that we do our groundwork so that if we are granted a licence to be on the grid next season, we will be ready. It was a day of getting James fitted in the car and us learning about it. I’m hoping to get two cars and James could be one of the drivers.”