United Autosports targets BTCC
United Autosports ran its newly purchased Toyota Avensis at Donington Park last week as the team hopes to make its bow in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship next season.
The Yorkshire-based squad is well known for running GT racing projects in particular, but is keen to add the BTCC to its growing portfolio. Bosses Zak Brown and Richard Dean visited a number of rounds during the 2013 season and made immediate plans for an expansion into the series if the team is able to gain a TBL Licence from TOCA – a requirement in order to compete as of the 2014 campaign.
“The BTCC is a major championship so of course we want to be involved, but there is a stringent new entry process and we aren’t making any presumptions about being granted a slot on the grid. Priority is given to existing teams, but we hope that we can fit in somewhere,” said Dean.
Former Formula Ford champion James Cole carried out testing duties at the Derbyshire circuit and is one of a number of drivers who will be evaluated over the winter.
“We will be testing a few drivers before the circuits shut for the winter break,” continued Dean. “It is important that we do our groundwork so that if we are granted a licence to be on the grid next season, we will be ready. It was a day of getting James fitted in the car and us learning about it. I’m hoping to get two cars and James could be one of the drivers.”
If granted a place on the grid United Autosports has suggested it would look at building its own NGTC machine in future seasons. Dean believes that in the first instance, however, an existing car will help the squad through the steep learning curve of a maiden BTCC campaign.
“We bought the Wrathall car and we want to go to touring cars,” he added. “We’re out testing as we should be and we’re serious about it.”