United Autosports is heading Down Under on February 24-26, to take part in the spectacular Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour race. A trio of experienced GT endurance drivers will tackle Mount Panorama in an Audi R8 LMS GT3.
US-based South African Mark Patterson will share cockpit duties with Hong Kong’s Frank Yu and Hong Kong-based Frenchman Alain Li, and while none of the drivers have raced at Bathurst before, each has always harbored the dream of competing in this race.
Bathurst is the third winter pre-season race – after Dubai and Abu Dhabi – to be contested by the Anglo-American Leeds-based team. United Autosports makes its début at the circuit, the Australian track having been made famous for its spectacular Touring Car races, and the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour GT event will test both men and machine to the limit around the awesome 6.213 km-long roller-coaster Mount Panorama circuit.
The Audi is a proven 24-hour race winner, having won last year’s Spa 24 Hour race, the 2011 Blancpain Endurance Series, and not to mention last year’s Bathurst 12 Hours.
Patterson, Yu and Li have all raced the United Autosports Audi with great success on several occasions and have taken many podiums between them. All three are experienced long-distance drivers and know exactly what it takes to succeed at this level. As the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour gets underway on February 26, the whole team is confident of making its mark in this historic event.
Alain Li (F), Age: 51. Born: Caen, France. Lives: Hong Kong
“I have dreamed about racing at Bathurst since I first started watching the races on the BBC in the ‘80s when the rivalry between Peter Brock and Dick Johnson was at its peak. The track looked amazing on TV and the coverage from Channel 9 in Australia with live on board ‘chats’ with the drivers as they raced bumper to bumper over the mountain was spectacular. The chance to fulfill one of my racing ambitions with United Autosports in the Audi R8 – and with Mark and Frank as team mates – is literally a dream come true. The Audi took the first two places in last year’s race and will hopefully be as competitive again in 2012. I have every confidence in Richard and the entire team to deliver a great package, however it will be a first for everyone involved and a steep learning curve but I’m sure we’ll progress in every session and to be well up at the finish. Mark and Frank are great drivers; I’ve raced with both and I think we are capable of springing a surprise with a little luck.”
Mark Patterson (SA), Age 60. Born: Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Lives: Bronxville, NY, USA
“I’ve been to Australia and watched this great race on TV but have never been there in person, so the challenges of the track itself are very appealing. I’m told it takes half a dozen races, just like the much longer Nürburgring, to get any kind of a grip on the subtleties of this track. I’ve driven with Alain twice before in the Spa 24 Hour race, and he’s reliable and quick, while Frank and I have yet to race together. I hope not to embarrass him! United Autosports and I have had a very exciting and rewarding 2-year relationship that is already spilling into 2012. It is always the neatest and most professional team on the grid.”
Frank Yu (Hong Kong), Age: 48. Born: Hong Kong. Lives: Hong Kong
“This is my first time at Bathurst and being a street circuit it’s always been one of the events on top of my ‘to do’ list. The Audi R8 LMS has proven its reliability with some good results – including winning at Bathurst last year – so I’m quite confident the car will do well. I’ve partnered Alain before in three or four endurance events; he’s quick, consistent, fit and great as team mate. It’ll be my first time to partner Mark and I’m looking forward to it. It will be great to team up with United Autosports again as it’s a very professional team and everyone is great to work with, while Richard is a good leader and friend. I can’t wait to be there!”
Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports
“I’m really looking forward to taking the team to Bathurst, which is one of those iconic circuits where we vowed we would race when Zak and I set up the team, so it’s fulfilling another of our dreams. Although we don’t underestimate what a difficult circuit Mount Panorama is to learn, I’m confident with Mark, Frank and Alain in the team’s Audi R8 LMS, they will be quick learners and I’m expecting a top result, especially after an Audi won the event last year!”