United Autosports enters triumvirate for maiden Daytona Classic appearance
- Team Partners Brown & Dean joined by IndyCar legend Sullivan in machinery already successful at Daytona
The United Autosports team competes at Daytona, in a 24 Hour event, for only the second time in its seven-year existence. The Anglo-American outfit marked its first race in North America in style recording fourth place in the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona, a mere 3.752secs behind the winner. This time at the world-famous Daytona International Speedway, UA turns back the clock with a mouth-watering line-up to contest the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona over 12-15 November.
Created in 2009, United Autosports is best known for contesting GT races worldwide. But UA also restores, renovates and race prepares historic road and racecars from its impressive raceshop in Leeds, England. Brown, founder of Just Marketing International (JMI) and currently Group CEO of CSM Sport & Entertainment that acquired JMI in 2013, along with fellow UA Partner Richard Dean plus 1988 PPG IndyCar World Series champion Danny Sullivan will share the driving duties.
The second running of the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona will feature United’s 1986 Porsche 962, 1981 Porsche 935 and a 1985 Ford Mustang in the Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) organised event. The Porsche 962 placed second in the ’86 season closing three-hour race at Daytona, third in the 1987 Daytona 24Hrs and ninth in the race the following year.
The “JLP-3” Porsche 935 was the first racecar to ever win both the Daytona 24 and Sebring 12 Hour races overall in the same year (1982). The 750+ bhp Porsche also competed at Daytona in 1981 winning an IMSA National Championship 250-mile race from pole. Another project lovingly restored by United Autosports like the two Porsches, is the Scott Pruett 1986 IMSA GTO Championship winning 1985 Roush Protofab. Pruett finished seventh overall, and first in GTO, in the ’86 3Hr race at Daytona.
The Classic 24 features six period-correct run groups rotating through a full 24 hours of racing on the 3.56-mile Daytona course. The run groups, which include various classes of similar-era racecars, each take to the track four times throughout the 24 hours. The competitors in each class covering the most total distance in their group’s four sessions will be “crowned” Classic 24 at Daytona champions.
Zak Brown (USA). Born: Los Angeles, California, USA. Lives: London, England:
“I’ve raced at the Daytona International Speedway a number of times. I debuted there in 1997 and finished second in the GTS class of the Rolex 24 and eighth overall. I raced a Porsche 911 again in 2000 while my last Daytona was when United Autosports recorded fourth in the Rolex less than four seconds behind the winner in 2011. That was a particularly proud moment as it was our team’s first race in North America. The Speedway has such great history while I’ve already enjoyed great results there. I’m really looking forward to racing my cars around the iconic track – cars that have all previously finished on the podium there. I’m hoping that Danny, Richard and I can continue that success in races that have attracted fantastic entries.”
Richard Dean (GB). Born/Lives: Leeds, England:
“I raced in the Daytona 24 Hours in 1998 (Lister Storm GTL) & 2010 (Porsche 997 GT3), the latter with Zak, and most recently was Team Manager for the United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing entry for the Rolex 24 in 2011. As the only Briton on driving duty along with Zak and Danny, the oval element and steep banking at DIS is very unique – that along with the normally nice weather in November! The cars we’re bringing over are from a great era of motor racing. I watched both the Porsche 935 and 962 race at Daytona 24 at the time. I can’t imagine what that amount of horsepower and top speed will feel like on the Daytona banking but I am excited to find out!”
Danny Sullivan (USA). Born: Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Lives: Pebble Beach, California, USA:
“This Classic event will be a very special experience. The cars, the incredible list of drivers heading there and of course Daytona itself – what a recipe for a fabulous race weekend. To drive with Zak, Richard and United Autosports, just adds to the experience. It’s going to be awesome and very competitive. My first visit to Daytona was in 1971, I was 21-years-old, and remember watching a Formula Vee race. What seemed like about 30 cars went off at the first corner and my mentor, Dr Frank Falkner, asked if I really wanted to try this [racing at Daytona] and I said ‘Oh yes I do!’ I went back the following year in an Elden PH10A Falconer Formula Ford 1600 and ran 152mph! I made my debut in the 24 Hours of Daytona at the wheel of a Lancia Stratos HF in 1979. I went on to race a Rondeau (1982), three Porsche 962s (1986/87/93), a Jaguar XJR-9 (1988), Porsche 911 (1994), two Riley & Scotts (1997/99) and a Porsche 911 GT1 (1998) at DIS. My best result was in ’98 when I won GT1 and placed second overall having also finished second outright in ’86. It is never dull at Daytona, there is always traffic, and it was always the way I wanted to start my season. The banking surprises a few people at the beginning but you get used to it pretty quickly.”