United Autosports - step by step towards the top of the world
United Autosports is a British racing team, based in Garforth (West Yorkshire) and founded in 2009, which currently competes in the European Le Mans Series with one LMP2 prototype and two LMP3 prototypes. The team was founded by an American businessman and race car driver Zak Brown and his partner, the British racer Richard Dean.
The team’s biggest success is the LMP3 championship title in the 2016 European Le Mans Series. Previously, the team competed in various sports car racing and touring car competitions, such were FIA GT3 European Championship, Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, Blancpain Endurance Series, Rolex Sports Car Series, British GT Championship, British Touring Car Championship, European Supercar Challenge, GT Cup UK or Ginetta GT4 Supercup.
Impressive motorsport CVs of team’s founders
Before founding his own team, Zak Brown competed in various single-seater and sports car competitions. He was also a founder and CEO of US-based Just Marketing International (JMI), the world’s leading motorsports marketing agency. United Autosports’ on-track efforts will be supported with JMI’s full-service resources, applied principally to promoting the team’s sponsors on both sides of the Atlantic. Zak Brown is also an Executive Director of the McLaren Group Ltd, which includes their Formula One team.
Richard Dean also has an impressive motorsport CV. In addition to a distinguished career as a driver, including a GT2 class victory at 2006 Le Mans 24h, Dean has additionally served as managing director of Ginetta Cars and as the Director of Zytek Engineering.
2010 FIA GT3 European Championship was the first competition
The first competition for the team was the 2010 FIA GT3 European Championship. The team fielded two factory-assisted Audi R8 LMS race cars, the #22 for Mike Guasch and Mark Patterson, the #23 for Zak Brown and Matt Bell. The best result for the team was a third place for #23 car at Autodromo Algarve and the team finished 12th in the final standings.
Maiden victory for the team with Ginetta G50
The team also participated in selected rounds of the 2010 British GT Championship, in the GT3 class with Audi R8 LMS and in the G4 class with Ginetta G50. The first victory came in August at Silverstone, where Matt Bell and Rob Bell clinched a win in the G4 class.
GTC class podium at 2010 Zhuhai 1000 km
In November 2010, United Autosports fielded two cars in the third (last) round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, at 1000 km of Zhuhai. The #97 Audi R8 LMS, driven by Henri Richard and Alain Li, finished third in the GTC class. The #96 Audi, driven by Danny Watts, Richard Meins and Frank Yu, didn’t finish the race.
24h Daytona debut and Petit Le Mans podium in 2011
In January 2011, the team partnered with Michael Shank Racing for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Their car was the #23 Riley Mk XX-Ford. The drivers were Zak Brown, Mark Patterson, Mark Blundell and Martin Brundle. They finished 4th in the Daytona prototype class.
Later in the season, Zak Brown and Mark Blundell participated in two more races of the Rolex Sports Car Series, at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio. United Autosports also had a one-off appearance in the American Le Mans Series, fielding the #22 Pescarolo-OAK LMP2 prototype at Petit Le Mans. Zak Brown, Mark Patterson and Stefan Johansson finished 13th overall and second in the LMP2 class.
2011 – first GT3 victory in the British GT Championship
In 2011, United Autosports continued to run two Audis in the FIA GT3 European Championship, with the slightly changed line-up, as Joe Osborne joined Mark Patterson in the #22 car. The season was not so successful, so the team ended a year at the back of the championship standings.
A grid full of stars at 2011 Spa 24 hours
The highlight of the season was the team’s debut at 24 hours of Spa in July. The race was a part of the Blancpain Endurance Series and the team had three cars involved. Alongside regular drivers, there were some world famous racing stars and former F1 drivers in United Autosports’ Audis: Mark Blundell, Eddie Cheever, Arie Luyendyk, Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson.
McLaren joined Audi in a garage in 2012
In 2012, the big change happened in United Autosports’ garage, as Audi R8 LMS was replaced by McLaren MP4-12C GT3. The team was using McLarens from in the first three rounds of the Blancpain Endurance Series, with #22 car in the Pro class and #23 car in the Pro-Am class. At 24 hours of Spa, the team participated with #23 Audi, not finishing the race.
In the 2012 British GT Championship season, the new car came in the middle of the season, immediately scoring a maiden victory in the first race at Snetterton. The victorious #24 McLaren was driven by Matt Bell and Charles Bateman. Until the end of the season, they added one more victory to the team’s account and finished third in the final standings.
Second place in the 2013 British GT Championship
In the 2013 British GT Championship, United Autosports had two McLarens and one Audi in the GT3 class. The only victory was achieved by Matt Bell and Mark Patterson in the #25 Audi at the season’s finale at Donington Park. Bell and Patterson finished as the championship runner-ups, losing a title by one and a half point to Beechdean’s Andrew Howard.
2013 Supercar Challenge title for Geddie son and father
In 2013, United Autosports clinched its first championship title, Glynn Geddie became the Super GT class champion in the Supercar Challenge, the sports car racing series. He was driving the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 together with his father Jim Geddie. They won three of fifteen races.
A season in the British Touring Car Championship
The new challenge for the team followed in 2014 when United Autosports entered the British Touring Car Championship. The team was running #20 Toyota Avensis for James Cole and #21 Toyota for Glynn Geddie. In the last two rounds, Geddie was replaced by Luke Hines.
James Cole’s best race result was 14th place and he finished 26th in the final standings. Glynn Geddie was slightly better, his best result was 12th place and he was 22nd in the points at the end of the season. The team finished in the 14th place among 21 teams.
GT Cup UK and Ginetta GT4 Supercup titles in 2014
While racing with Toyota in the BTCC, United Autosports continued to compete in the British sports car championships. In the 2014 British GT Championship season, the team scored just one podium with the #23 Audi R8 LMS, driven by Matt Bell and Mark Patterson, at season-finale at Donington Park. The team finished 8th in the points.
On the other side, Jim Geddie brought one championship title to the team. He was the GT Cup UK champion in the GTO class, driving a McLaren MP4-12C GT3. The team also won the championship title in the 2014 Ginetta GT4 Supercup, with Carl Breeze and Luke Davenport driving two cars for United Autosports. In drivers’ standings, Breeze was third, Davenport sixth.
2016 – championship title in the European Le Mans Series
In 2016, United Autosports stepped into the European Le Mans Series, fielding two Ligier JS P3 prototypes in the LMP3 class. The #2 car was driven by Alex Brundle, Mike Guasch and Christian England. The #3 crew consisted of Matt Bell, Wayne Boyd and Mark Patterson.
At the start of the season, the #2 crew had won three races in a row, at Silverstone, Imola and Red Bull Ring. They added two more podiums at Circuit Paul Ricard and Spa to cement their championship lead before season’s finale in Portugal. The #3 crew scored three podiums and finished fifth in the LMP3 standings.
Ready for Le Mans 24h debut in 2017
For the 2017 sports car racing season, the appetite is even bigger, so United Autosports announced three cars for the European Le Mans Series. The will defend the LMP3 title with #2 and #3 Ligier JS P3s whilst the #32 Ligier JS P127 will fight for the LMP2 trophy. The #32 car will also participate at 24 hours of Le Mans.
The team also announced a participation in the British LMP3 Prototype Cup, following the Cup’s premiere at Snetterton in October 2016, where United Autosports had four LMP3 cars. In the 2017 British LMP3 Cup season, the team will participate with two cars.