United Autosports targets strong points haul at Paul Ricard in the south of France
Blancpain Endurance Preview
Media release: 27th June 2012
Aiming high for round three
Improved performance boost for McLaren MP4-12C GT3’s
Competition fierce, 60 car grid
Both McLaren MP4-12 GT3’s outside team garage ahead of Silverstone.
With the opening two rounds of the 2012 season, already completed United Autosports head to the circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France for round three of the Blancpain Endurance Series (30/1 July).
Since the balance of performance test at Paul Ricard in March, and a third in class qualifying for the No. 22 Pro Cup car at Silverstone last time out, the United Autosports team has been actively preparing and has significantly improved both the McLaren MP4-12C GT3’s so have their sights firmly set on achieving strong results this weekend.
Once again a 60 car grid is expected with drivers from 20 different countries, so competition will be fierce around the technical 5.8km circuit, where tyre management, and the expected hot conditions will also add to the mix.
The team maintains their strong driver line up with David Brabham, Matt Bell, and Alvaro Parente sharing the cockpit of the No 22 McLaren MP4-12C GT3 Pro Cup Class car, whilst team owner, and driver Zak Brown will be in the No 23 sister car with Mark Blundell and Mark Patterson in the Pro/AM class.
Trevor Foster, Engineer, United Autosports
“We have been working hard since Silverstone and are confident that our improvements will put us in a position to challenge for a result this weekend. Paul Ricard is a wonderful facility. It’s a very technical circuit, and you have to be precise; there is absolutely no room for error. Tyre degradation and the heat will be major factors, but we are prepared and looking forward to it.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director of United Autosports
“Our last race at Silverstone showed really good pace with a top six qualifying position. The atrocious weather conditions made the race unpredictable and we were unable to realise our potential. I am hoping we can avoid bad weather for the first time this year, when we get to the South of France!.”
Facts about Circuit Paul Ricard
The Paul Ricard track boasts some of the latest innovations in motor sport safety, including asphalt run-off areas, advanced high-speed barriers and a state-of-the-art medical facility.
Formerly, the site of the French Grand Prix, the track is notable for its distinctive black, blue, and red striped runoff areas called the ‘Blue Line’ system. Located next to the circuit, the blue run-off areas are more abrasive than the track itself and slow down the vehicle if it runs off, while allowing the driver a chance to veer back on course.
It has a flowing layout of 5.8km that offers a unique challenge for drivers and engineers alike.
The Paul Ricard Circuit, was built in 1969, and is located at Le Castellet near Marseille.
Race Distance: Three-hours
Pre Qualifying: Sat 30th 14.25 – 15.25pm
Qualifying: Sat 30th 17.35 – 18.35pm
Race: Sun 1st 14.15 - 17.15pm