United Autosports made its fourth appearance at the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Pre- and Reunion events in California (12-21 August) and came away with three podiums including a victory and lots of positive memories from competing in one of the world’s largest and most prestigious historic racing events. Zak Brown scored his second consecutive triumph in the 962 when he won, unchallenged, the 11-lap race from pole-position around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Pre-Reunion event.
Brown, having swept the ex-Dyson Racing 1986 Porsche to victory at the Le Mans Classic recently, repeated the feat in California to replicate his 2014 Monterey win – Stefan Johansson having also won in the same car in the corresponding event in 2012. It looked as though United Autosports would have two cars on the podium in the race, Richard Dean a solid third until he pitted the Mustang on the last lap with a broken third gear. In the Pre-Reunion’s second race, Brown started the 962 from pole on the 28-car grid but had to be content with second place at the chequered flag. Unfortunately Zak missed the Reunion’s 962 races today due to him needing to attend urgent business meetings at Pebble Beach.
The 1982 IMSA Camel GT Championship winning Porsche 935 began Saturday’s Reunion weekend race from an excellent sixth on the 49-car grid with Brown sweeping into fourth after the first corner. However, Zak was forced into retirement with a gearbox problem – an issue that caused the “JLP-3”, the ex-John Paul Sr/Jr Porsche, to scratch from the second race later that day.
Dean started the Scott Pruett 1986 IMSA GTO Championship winning Roush Protofab Mustang from the fifth row of the 1981-91 FIA/IMSA GTO/GTP grid for its first race today, made up two places on the opening lap and was fifth by lap two. Richard took the chequered flag fifth after nine-laps, his was the highest-placed Mustang in the 43-car field – finishing less than 25 seconds behind the race-winning Porsche 962C. Dean started the second race fifth but had the audacity to challenge the more modern machinery for third place at the first turn, Richard having to settle for fourth at the end of the opening lap. Ultimately Dean brought the Mustang home a fantastic third after a titanic battle over the last two laps to earn United Autosports a praiseworthy third podium finish of the double-header meeting.
Unfortunately due to Brown’s track absence today, the 1980 Williams FW07B did not get to race – Zak having qualified the previous day on the 1967-84 Formula One car grid which included former four-time Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Champion Eddie Lawson. The Reunion once again attracted a host of famous faces in the paddock including Sir Stirling Moss O.B.E., Sir Jackie Stewart O.B.E., Derek Bell M.B.E., Dario Franchitti M.B.E., and former United Autosports driver Johansson. Phil Burgan, who raced for United in the GT Cup Championship, was also an interested observer. The founder and CEO of Maria Mallaband Care Group Ltd supports United Autosports’ maiden European Le Mans Series campaign.
Zak Brown (USA). Born: Los Angeles, California, USA. Lives: London, England:
“The Rolex Monterey Reunion was another fantastic experience. A great variety of cars in every class and a superb opportunity to see lots of friends in the paddock that included one of United’s ex-racers Stefan Johansson and Dario Franchitti who I drove with on the ‘Highland Tour of Scotland’ last year. I absolutely adore the 962 and I was so happy to add another win with the Porsche after my recent Le Mans success. I was disappointed I was prevented from racing today but I wasn’t feeling 100% and I needed to be at a couple of business meetings. I’d love to bring over the Audi 200 quattro Trans-Am that we’ve just purchased for next year’s Reunion but whatever United will be back.”
Richard Dean (GB). Born/Lives: Leeds, England:
“It’s been another memorable trip to Monterey and to this unique event. Our team has worked very hard over here for over two weeks prepping our four cars. Our Pre-Reunion victory and additional rostrum was as much down to their hard work and it was a shame we didn’t get to race the 962 this weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed my races in the Mustang – the rear wheels are spinning in every gear – and that’s in the dry – and I was pleased with a rostrum in our last race. But we now quickly turn our attention to the next round of the European Le Mans Series in Southern France which takes place next weekend where we aim to keep intact out 100% winning record in LMP3 and extend our championship lead.”
Anglo-American team adds more desirable racecars to its already impressive “historic” collection
Monterey signalled the final historic car race event of the year for United Autosports but work will continue apace on the restoration of three recent stunning additions to its already impressive stable. A 1974 Ford Cologne Capri RS3100, a 1984 Lancia LC2 and a 1988 Audi 200 quattro Trans Am have each been purchased this year – more of the world’s finest racecars being brought back to their original, optimum condition by United’s top engineers and skilled craftsmen.
The Ford is one of only three works Cologne Capri RS3100s built and scored two 1974 European Touring Car Championship victories at Zandvoort (Jochen Mass/Rolf Stommelen) and Jarama (Hans Heyer/Klaus Ludwig/Toine Hezemans). This chassis also scored a win in the ’74 Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft at Hockenheim (Ludwig) while Niki Lauda posted a sixth place (Norisring) in the DRM. The Martini Lancia was constructed ahead of the 1984 season and was campaigned for the better part of two seasons in the World Sportscar Championship. Following its debut at Monza, Bob Wollek qualified the car on pole at Le Mans and it led the race for 17 hours with Alessandro Nannini setting the fastest race lap. Nannini and Riccardo Patrese won the 1984 Kyalami 1000km before it was “retired” at the end of the ‘85 season.
This Audi 200 quattro won the 1988 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Trans Am Championship with Hurley Haywood as its driver. Audi was dominant in the series and also won the Manufacturers title with the first four-wheel-drive car to compete in the Trans Am championship. In 1988, Haywood took victories in Dallas and Detroit, with four further podiums at Long Beach, Brainard, Meadowlands and Mid Ohio. This particular Audi was also driven by Walter Röhrl and Hans-Joachim Stuck.
Testing, testing, 1-2-3 . . .
The team clocked-up almost 1,000 valuable miles in a recent LMP3 test at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium (10-11 Aug). All six of United’s European Le Mans Series squad were present, Matt Bell, Wayne Boyd, Alex Brundle, Christian England, Mike Guasch and Mark Patterson, sharing the driving of the two Ligier JS P3 sports-prototypes during the two-day, weather-effected test.
Upcoming Event . . .
United resumes its maiden ELMS campaign at Paul Ricard in France next weekend (26-28 Aug) – the team having won the LMP3 category in the opening three races. The team’s transporter departed from Leeds today for the 1,000-mile journey to Le Castellet.
Source. United Autosports