- Essex driver’s UA debut marks BGT return after three-year absence
- Anglo-American team justifiably hoping for a “lucky break”
- Patterson back with the team for Spa and Donington
United Autosports contests the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Snetterton next weekend (22 June) with Iain Dockerill joining Matt Bell in the Audi R8 LMS ultra.
Commodity trader Dockerill, who replaces Bell’s regular driver Mark Patterson who will now only race at Spa and Donington Park, is no stranger to the British GT series having competed in seven races between 2010-11.
The 10-race series reverts to the “normal” two, one-hour race format at the 2.99-mile Norfolk venue with the Anglo-American team due for a change in fortune after a run of what can only be described as abysmal luck since the opening Oulton Park race.
#23 Allied World / Henderson– Audi R8 LMS ultra
Matt Bell (GB). Age: 25. Born: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne & Wear, England. Lives: Barningham nr Richmond, North Yorkshire, England.
“Snetterton has been a great track for us in the past. I’ve been on the podium there several times and I won there with Charles Bateman in 2012.
“The sprint race weekends present a different challenge to the endurance weekends, it’s all about ultimate pace and making sure you’re at the front in qualifying. The track usually suits the Audi but that said, traditionally the Audi’s strength is in the longer races, so it will be a tough weekend but we definitely have the team to take on the challenge!
“It’s a great shame that Mark is now only to do the Spa and Donington races but I can fully understand his position being based in the US. We’ve suffered three DNFs in a row, two of which were as a direct result of Mark unnecessarily being hit from behind. These retirements mean our championship challenge is over so it’s a case of full out attack from the start in each of the remaining races.”
Iain Dockerill (GB). Age 46. Born: Rochford, Essex. Lives: Benfleet, Essex.
“Snetterton will be my debut with the team and my maiden race in the Audi although a test is planned on Thursday for me at Rockingham. I know Matt, he has been giving our GT Cup team some coaching this season, and I’m certain we’ll make a good driver combination while United Autosports is a proven top team.
“Since racing in the BGT I’ve raced quite a lot in Belgium, driving different types of car but never a current GT3 car in a sprint format with a team as professional as United. My only GT3 experience has been in the last two Blancpain Endurance Series Spa 24 Hour races while the last time I raced at Snetterton was in a GT Cup race last year. ”
Mark Patterson (USA). Age: 62. Born: Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Lives: Bronxville, New York State, USA.
“I’ve enjoyed multiple seasons of wonderful BGT racing but the confluence of on-track incidents when we’ve been in a leading position in the last three races makes winning this year’s championship impossible.
“I’ll be back for the Spa and Donington races, simply because I love racing on these tracks, but for the other races I’m delighted that United Autosports can introduce new drivers in to its fantastic team well in advance of next year’s BGT season.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:
“Mark’s absence from the United Autosports BGT team will be very strange. He has been with us from the start and the team have grown with him. We welcome Iain to the team and back into BGT at Snetterton. This will be Iain’s first race in the Audi but he is very experienced and very capable.”