Former F1 driver and Crash.net
columnist Mark Blundell is to join the Anglo-American United Autosports team to spearhead the Pro/Am crew in the six-round 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series, it has been confirmed.
Blundell will share the cockpit of the #23 McLaren MP4-12C GT3 with team co-owner Zak Brown and Mark Patterson.
The 45-year-old has raced with the team on several occasions now - taking third at the Total 24 Hours of Spa in 2010 and fourth in last year's Rolex 24 at Daytona. However 2012 will see the former Brabham, Ligier, Tyrrell and McLaren F1 driver contest the entire Blancpain Series.
“I'm excited and very happy to be racing with United Autosports,” said Blundell. “It will be my first full season in a championship since 2000 and to be with this team makes that extra special because of the people involved.
“I think my experience will help with the development of the car and team, and I showed both my pace and calmness in endurance events in Daytona last year.
“The McLaren MP4-12C is a great looking car and with the resources and support from one of the best F1 teams in history, I feel we have great things ahead of us. My favourite circuit still has to be Spa with Monza close behind; both wonderful driver tracks.
“I have huge respect for both Mark Patterson, who's a proven driver in his own right and Zak Brown, who applies himself with focus and commitment. But we are a team and that's what I like about sportscar racing.
“I can tell you we will be no less hungry to win on our side of the garage than our team-mates or anyone else in the pit lane, and the desire, the competitive edge and the people involved with United Autosports are the ingredients which have brought me back into a full championship.
“Within a short space of time United Autosports has made a name in racing and I sincerely hope we can take that to another level over this season. Richard Dean and Zak Brown's vision is to be applauded.”
Richard Dean, managing director and co-owner of United Autosports, added: “United Autosports really means business this year and we aim to be the team that everyone's talking about, not just because we have an exciting and first-class line-up of drivers, but also as we have moved up a gear in every respect.
“Every member of the team has a unified goal and in 2012, that is to win a major title. We've spent the previous two years setting up the team and moving towards that goal; this year we want to achieve it.”