Newly-formed United Autosports has revised the driver line-up for its FIA GT3 European Championship campaign with its brace of 2010-specification Audi R8 LMS sportscars and as such Mark Patterson will now co-drive with fellow American Michael Guasch.
Patterson has been brought in to replace Henri Richard who is unable to contest the 12-race, six-venue European-based series due to increased business commitments. Patterson has inked a two-year deal with the American-owned concern.
“I'm very excited to be driving for this incredible new US team,” stated Patterson. “The FIA GT3 European series features competitive, spectacular looking cars with Audi heading the field.
“My knowledge of US tracks is deep but in Europe, except for Spa, it's quite shallow. So getting up to speed on these challenging tracks will be exciting. I've been peddling a 2,250 lb, 500 hp, sequential shift Daytona Prototype around for the past five years so I can currently only imagine the luxury of a meticulously built and beautifully balanced Audi R8 LMS with paddle shifters!”
Zak Brown, the chairman and co-owner of United Autosports, who will race alongside Argentinean Pablo Pérez Companc, believes that Patterson is a 'strong addition'.
“With his impressive background in sportscar racing, he will make great contributions to our 2010 campaign,” Brown added. “I'm thrilled to have him as a team-mate and I look forward to racing with him.”
“Being an American and extremely accomplished in both a race car and in business, Mark is the perfect profile for United Autosports and our FIA GT3 Championship programme,” continued Richard Dean, managing director and co-owner of United Autosports.
“To achieve at this level in both arenas is an obvious sign of a competitive nature. Mark is a proven winner in Grand Am and has now set Europe and the FIA series as his next personal challenge.
“Henri had to pull out due to work commitments, which was a great shame, but we've come out of this very well with the signing of Mark. There is huge interest around our new team and the Audi R8 LMS which meant we had a long list of candidates to choose from.”
The United Autosports team, which will have Remington as its primary sponsor, meanwhile collected its two Audi R8 LMS sportscars from Audi Sport in Germany this week. The squad then headed directly to Portugal for a two-day test at the Autodrómo Internacional do Algarve circuit near Portimão.