Tuesday, April 29, 2014

British GT: Bell & Patterson bid to bounce back in Rockingham two-hour BGT race

United Autosports Press Release 

Matt Bell and Mark Patterson are hoping that the first two-hour British GT Championship race of 2014 will perfectly suit their Audi R8 LMS ultra around the 1.94-mile Rockingham “International Long” circuit on Bank Holiday Monday (4 May).

Having placed fourth in the opening race at Oulton Park over Easter, victory looked likely only for Patterson’s Audi to be punted off the track by a rival and into retirement. Third last year in the corresponding race, another podium would be a welcome early 25th birthday present for Bell.

#23 Allied World / Henderson – Audi R8 LMS ultra

Matt Bell (GB). Age: 24. Born: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne & Wear, England. Lives: Barningham nr Richmond, North Yorkshire, England.

“The two hour race at Rockingham is always a challenge for the drivers. The track surface is very low grip meaning tyre wear is much higher than anywhere else on the calendar, so managing that across a one hour stint is usually the key to victory.

“The Audi has always been ‘sympathetic’ on its tyres so I'm hoping for a good result. We were on the podium last year despite a success time penalty for our podium at the previous round. We have no such penalty this time which means we should be able to fight for another podium and hopefully a win.”

Mark Patterson (USA). Age: 62. Born: Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Lives: Bronxville, New York State, USA.

“Past experience of the ‘Rock’ suggests it’s a challenge to drive in the dry and almost impossible in the wet for me. Luckily our first attack there last year resulted in a satisfactory finish but it's a technical little monster that can catch you out quickly.

“Rockingham features high-speed weight transition sectors that get many drivers to lift, so there are decent catch-up zones on this track. There are also three good hard braking zones that will help our cause with the Audi with its unique late and trustworthy braking system.”

Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:

“We make our way to Rockingham after a disappointing end to the BGT weekend at Oulton Park. After finishing fourth in race one and then to be leading the second race only to get punted off was tough but we are aiming for a good weekend at Rockingham. The Audi should perform well around there as there aren't too many long straights so hopefully we will be able to score some solid points.

Photo credit: United Autosports